my [work] - Concerning (professionally) Active Life

Root Event

4. Werkleitz Biennale real[work]

Parent Event

Filmprogramm
my [work] - Concerning (professionally) Active Life
8. 7. 2000
D 2000

my [work] - Concerning (professionally) Active Life
Florian Wüst

Behind the co-ordinates of anonymous statistics, the demoscopy of the TV ratings and the official language of denotation there is still the individual person. We are far enough away from George Lucas’ vision in “THX 1138”, in which the members of a synchronised society are only identified as numbers in the daily monotony of work and entertainment. On the other hand, we know only too well that “all human activities are conditioned by the fact that human beings live together” 1 (Arendt). Our being does not seem imaginable without the influence of societal surroundings. That means, that one’s own reality is instantaneously fictionalised at the moment of identification with character patterns, ideals and dreams. A totalitarian state system is far from necessary nowadays, to produce the ideological pattern of individual life designs in our present day of progressing mediatisation and commercialisation.

This programme dedicates itself to the charm of personal stories about life, employment/unemployment and about activity, which are presented using simple means, in part so pertinently, as if they were simply read from the cover of the grand narratives.

The model “Familie Strassburger” open themselves to the questions of Bill Meyers, who was able to carry out a cinematic-sociological investigation of the working population in the GDR in 1987. With amazing powers of persuasion and in no way illogical arguments, mother, father, daughter and son sing a song of praise to the social structure of the GDR. All aspects of daily life appear in this way to be a kind of work, duty-bound to be carried out.

The transfers of the ideological rival, the “American way of life”, follow in “Meet The People”. Shelly Silver choreographs the statements of various people to create a piece about careers and life’s circumstances, about ideas, dreams and hopes. Towards the end the seeming authenticity of the characters reveals itself as the material for a construction kit of tailor-made identities, known from film and TV.

With “Zwischen vier und sechs” Corinna Schnitt paints a wondrous portrait of a (her) family in the west of Germany, in which the strictness of one’s own morals seems to be elevated above all categories - from alienated work to leisure time stress. A parable about a mentality, which can’t restrain its eagerness even beyond the working week.

Attention in the ranks! To actually take or leave the world as it is, is at least promised in “Wolkenbügel” through the view and declarations of the crane driver Hermann Wallner while he works. Alexander Binder and Stefan Hafner create herewith a relationship to real life, which often enough gets lost on the large building sites of the global market economy.

Like a counter image to the avatar-like characters in “Meet the People”, the filmmaker Stefan Hayn describes in “Ein Film über den Arbeiter” his own experiences in ever-changing student jobs. His personal reflection about the circumstance of wage labour intersects with the undisguised credentials of the present time, in which the large corporate(politics), using its bare hands, interferes with the lives of people.

In Sandrine Dryver’s “Alter/Egaux” unemployed people ultimately tell us in short and emphatic statements about the loss of their identity as well as their conflicting relations to wage labour. Especially marked are the distinctions between the discourses of France and Germany: while here one perceives an almost creeping subservience of public opinion vis-à-vis the gentlemen of capital, in the French-speaking territory there is a far more active and critical confrontation, which by no means is restricted to the sectors of the feuilleton.

1 Arendt, Hannah: Vita Activa oder Vom tätigen Leben. Munich 1981, p. 27

 

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