Traveller´s Tales

From the mobility of image-making to discursive images of mobility; Tim Sharp’s video work Traveller´’s Tales does not only pursue these movements thematically but demonstrates the transition in the form of complex acts of montage. Traveller´’s Tales weaves a dense discursive net around the connections between images, travel, migration and nomadism starting out from found footage loose ends. The latter consist of a total of one and a half minutes of “waste” from a German-language documentary production probably from around the year 1970 with the working title Tuareg. From these out-takes, Sharp has extracted individual motifs, mainly static shots of simple events or poses, looped and rearranged them. Just this extraction and re-working alone makes the constructive character of documentary reality visible – for example, when a veiled Tuareg (or the person representing him) repeatedly loads his rifle or when another poses with his weapon endlessly, as if time and the history of moving images had been completely suspended. This vivisection of ethnographic raw material is supplemented by a constructed soundtrack which scatters traces of exotic sound and shreds of music around whilst framing beginning and end with a clock ticking or striking. Finally, over the whole there is a essay-like commentary in the off which is autobiographical and includes especially memories of journeys made by the first person narrator and his father, enriched by short asides on famous travellers in the Orient (Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta) and nomadism. The principle of criss-crossing narratives reveals – and this is something that applies to Traveller’´s Tales as a whole – the complex rasters that are always at work in the representation of foreign, nomadic reality. (Christian Höller)
Translation: Tim Sharp

Orig. Title
Traveller´s Tales
13 min
Tim Sharp
Orig. Language
Tim Sharp
Concept & Realization
Tim Sharp
Available Formats
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des Österreichischen Films
Oberhausen - Int. Kurzfilmtage
Windsor - Media City
Austin - Cinetexas - Int. short film&video&new media festival
Iowa City - ICDOCS, Int. Documentary Festival
Basel - VIPER Festival für Medienkunst
Jihlava Documentary Film Festival
Basel - VIPER Festival für Medienkunst
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival (Special Mention Norman 2005)
Toronto - IMAGES - Independent Film & Video Festival