Hitting my Head on the World

Time and again physical gestures play a crucial role when traveling, when our personal language is incapable of overcoming communication barriers and desires cannot be put into words. It is about reaching an understanding, how to identify with the world. Our own body can then serve as a concrete and direct medium, facilitating understanding or leading to cluelessness and misunderstanding. Anna Vasof uses her head as a drum, to carefully tap very gently or thump hard and painfully, leaving the question open as to whether she despairs of the world entirely or becomes one with it. Her body serves as her instrument while the city visibly surrounding her is transformed into a resonating chamber. The thumping of her head establishes the rhythm, the soundscape of a given place delivers its distinctive melody. Some cities are recognized by virtue of familiar tourist attractions, while Anna Vasof is always to be seen. She steps into the picture and adjusts the microphone on her head, initially testing the environment or her own position, and then it begins. The title reliably predicts what is to follow: The artist strikes her head in each of the metropolitan cities mentioned and each time hits her target. She proceeds in all seriousness, there is no trick or stunt involved. She humbly enters on the metropolitan scene, touching the city and its audience, not that a secret embarrassment is exposed or a voyeuristic insight is offered. But be mindful: This camera does not show us the world as it is. Anna Vasof reminds us with her every strike of a hard-hitting truth, namely that we only see things as we are. (Brigitte Felderer)

Translation: Eve Heller

I visit several cities and I hit my head on different surfaces. A microphone, which is mounted on my head, records the sound of these head-beats. A camera, located off to the side, records each action. In this way, all is made visible: the action, the sound recording, the surface upon which I hit my head, and the urban ambiance of the location. I make one episode for each city that I visit. The titles consist of the names of the cities and the word "hit". For example, "Vienna-Hit" or "Berlin Hit". For each episode a music piece is composed from the head-beats. The music is also used to structure the video editing. Each episode is around 2 minutes long. Hitting one´s head upon a wall is a worldwide known gesture. Desperate people who do not know what to do next might hit their heads against walls. This is not always literal. It is more often a metaphor for not knowing how to get around a strong sense of frustration. But if we observe this movement as an instrument, a hopeless action begins to transform into an absurd repetition. In the compositions, my head is played as instrument in multiple contradictory locations and creates an audiovisual urban "landscape" of the world. (Anna Vasof 2019)

Orig. Title
Hitting my Head on the World
13 min
Anna Vasof
Experimental, performance
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Anna Vasof
Heinz Riegler, Anna Vasof
Anna Vasof
sound engineering
Fotis Rovolis, Markus Pagisch
Anna Vasof
Editorial Department
Judith Revers, Christoffer Koller
Supported by
BKA - innovative film, ORF III
Available Formats
DCP 4K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Festivals (Selection)
Wien - VIS Vienna Shorts
Lausanne LUFF Underground Film Festival
Jihlava - IDFF East Silver Market
Barcelona - Int. Women Film Festival
Dortmund / Köln - Internationales Frauenfilmfestival
Poznan - Shorts Waves Festival
Zagreb - Vox Feminae
Marseille - RISC Rencontres Int. Sciences et Film (Coup de Coeur Jury Court Métrage)
Ann Arbor - Film Festival