Moscouw

How can one express the potential of someone´s art when its creation requires a source of danger in the form of an observer? How can one portray an artist, who tolerates no one but herself as creator of self-portraits? These questions provide the foundation of Joerg Burger´s unique portrait of photographer Michaela Moscouw. Burger was granted the privilege of engaging the reclusive artist in an intimate conversation, though he was permitted to record it on audio tape only.

Moscouw is also a portrait of a person who is present and absent at the same time. Her stream-of-consciousness elucidation of her work lays a trail leading through a wealth of photographs, self-portraits showing Moscouw in a number of different poses, costumes and transformations, both at home and in public places. The camera moves smoothly as it scans the images while Moscouw´s rapid-fire comments describe the conditions under which they were created. At the same time, it uncovers an existential trail, revealing it to be both a game with voyeurism and provocation and an epistemological project.

Burger does not impose a specific interpretation; he deals with sound and image as two discrete elements. Though they approach each other, they remain separate. The conversation is "recreated" in hectic surroundings, hands leaf through a photo album in front of automatic doors. And Moscouw´s outdoor activities, which Burger illustrates with images of nearly deserted forests and meadows and a subway ride on the edge of Vienna, bear witness to the disappearance of a subject - a process which in the end is also manifested in photographs showing nothing more than black and white silhouettes.

(Dominik Kamalzadeh)

Orig. Title
Moscouw
Year
2001
Country
Austria
Duration
20 min
Director
Joerg Burger
Category
Avantgarde/Arts
Orig. Language
german
Downloads
Credits
Director
Joerg Burger
Cinematography
Joerg Burger, Johannes Hammel
Editing
Joerg Burger
Production Assistance
Regina Höllbacher, Johannes Holzhausen
Production
Navigator Film
Production Manager
Johannes Rosenberger
Supervisor
Michael Palm
Available Formats
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Sound Format
stereo
Frame Rate
24 fps
Festivals (Selection)
2001
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des Österreichischen Films
Nyon - visions du réel - Festival Int. du Cinéma Documentaire
Bamberg - Kurzfilmtage
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Duisburger - Filmwoche
Leipzig - Dok Leipzig - Int. Festival für Dok.- u. Animationsfilm
Wien - Viennale - Int. Filmfestwochen
New York - Expo of Short Film & Video
2003
Brisbane - Int. Film Festival
Tübingen - Medienkunstfestival
Wiesbaden - exground on screen