A lot happens in the sixty seconds of KatharinaViktoria 2(021): a re-enactment and sequel, a cinematic experiment with single images, a study of perception, a double portrait (or an extended self-portrait), a reflection on familial similarities and closeness.
In her (now doubled) double portrait, the artist and filmmaker Viktoria Schmid works with the basal categories of filmmaking – the setup, the shot, the handling of filmic time – and then breaks them down into their individual elements and reassembles them. The experiment had its beginning in 2011, when 240 individual images of two faces – her own and that of her sister Katharina – filmed in high-contrast black and white, were taken with a 16mm camera, looped four times and then combined into a montage of both faces in rapid rhythm. The human eye – a comparatively “sluggish” organ – perceives the staccato images as a stroboscopic illusion of movement (the so-called phi phenomenon). In this way, the two faces are symbiotized to form a mixed portrait – a KatharinaViktoria. For the second film, Schmid repeated the experimental arrangement with a great number of individual images – 960 this time. The filming technique has remained the same, as has the title – albeit with a “2” having irritatingly slipped out of the parentheses (also presenting a kind of perceptual disorder).
Between the two one-minute films lies the time that separates the two women from their selves ten years earlier – along with a sisterly relationship whose movements can only be guessed at by the flickering of their images. In addition to being a revision, KatharinaViktoria 2(021) has also become a document of growing older. (Esther Buss)
Translation: John Wojtowicz