In his films and installations, Bernd Oppl questions the basic conditions of architectural space. His artistic practice consists, among other things, of exposing self-constructed architectural models to various cinematic test assemblies, and experimenting with different materials, perspectives, image sections, and spatial orientation. He creates paradoxical cinematic imaginary spaces that put human perception of space to the test.
In his work Hidden Rooms, shot on 16mm film, white-painted wooden beams are joined together into building-like structures that glide across the image surface from right to left in slow and steady rotational movements against a deep black background. Oppl has inserted reflective glass surfaces into these abstracted building skeletons, which, due to the many reflections and the narrowly selected image sections, make it impossible for the audience to imagine an overall picture of the architectural models. Static shots, each one minute long, are spliced together and accompanied by harmonious sine tones, which rise and fall in sync with the incidence of light.
Oppl based his models on photographs of film studios from the early days of film history, such as Georges Méliès “Glass House” and the famous “Black Maria” by William K. L. Dickson, served as models for the models; a studio that could be rotated horizontally to let the maximum amount of sunlight into the interior. Oppl takes up the (media-)historical idea of a building rotating on its own axis and translates it into a timeless, precise, and meditative film study about human perception of space and time. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)
Translation: John Wojtowicz
6 min 30 sec