Artist Talk With Hans Diernberger, Will Saunders & Helena Wittmann

April 26 at 6:00 PM — April 26, 2022 at 9:00 PM

Hans Diernberger, Will Saunders and Helena Wittmann in conversation with Tobias Peper.

LANYC by Hans Diernberger and Will Saunders was created on a four-day train journey between Los Angeles and New York City, where the camera takes the perspective of a roving gaze out the window. The footage overlaps, creating the perception of a round trip that neither begins nor ends in either city. The subsequent color grading of the footage lends a surreal, dreamlike mood to the film, which is further enhanced by the soundtrack. The rhythmic rattling of the wheels on the rails and the occasional honking of the train’s horn are interrupted occasionally by fragments of dialogue, without any coherent narrative emerging from them. Harmonica sounds tie everything together in a hypnotic journey through the trans-American landscape, where the vastness of the Midwest merges with the large, densely built cities of both coasts. LANYC portrays a landscape of longing associated with nostalgic promises of freedom, reveling in the feeling of being in between without having to arrive.

Helena Wittmann's film DRIFT tells the story of two friends who take a trip to the North Sea before parting ways for a long period of time. Josefina returns to Argentina, while Theresa crosses the Atlantic on a ship towards the Caribbean, where the unknown awaits her. In a series of calm images and an all-connecting sound, the reduced narrative develops. From the middle of the film onwards, land is lost from sight and the ocean becomes the protagonist. At high seas, far away from the coasts, intermediate worlds are presented. The film explores the colors, sound, and texture of the ocean's surface, going along with the movement of the waves and swaying from day to night. The inscribed metaphor of the ocean is both a plot device and a frame of reference. Wittmann reflects on the journey as a moment of transition. With her camera she captures the longing for departure and arrival as well as all the moments in between. DRIFT was created in close collaboration with ethnologist Theresa George and sound artist Nika Son.