Claire Hooper

Hollybush Gardens

Claire Hooper’s Nach Spandau (To Spandau), 2008, is a video to watch alone. It follows the nearly empty U7 subway line in Berlin, station after station, in a fifty-three-minute series of short sequences on HDV. Each shot sooner or later lingers for a few seconds on some brief, motionless image, usually concentrating on the architectural details of each station; the overall result is an alternating pattern of wall-size moving images followed by often beautiful moments of stillness. Nach Spandau becomes a claustrophobic road movie that provokes a hypnotic curiosity about each next frame in its sequence of strange architectural details—the “Aztec”-style tiling; the Egyptianesque columns; the rows of rounded bulbs along empty train tracks reminiscent of an oversize Hollywood vanity mirror—whose pretensions toward high design would normally go unnoticed amid the general squalor of the station.

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