Fiction is reality and reality is fiction (perhaps)
Hollywood is the biggest illusion-factory in the world. Constantly searching for the new, for the absolute audience-thrill and of course the box-office hit, no matter which themes or technological phantasies might cross the producers’ minds, everything will be picked up immediately. Film scripts seem to be conveyor-belt products. The apparently “best” are labelled with audience-attractive actors (the ultimate key for commercial success), transformed into more or less successful blockbusters and then, scattered in thousands of copies all over the globe. These generally home-spun fictions rule the phantasies of millions of viewers around the whole world. Finding a driving force in the “traditional” media, which, despite their usually immense financial efforts make very good use of them. Since the gigantic culture-industry-machine Hollywood can’t be examined in all its facettes, Werkleitz Biennale will draw attention to at least a limited part. For some years the new communication technologies and especially the internet have become a world-wide subject per se most certainly for Hollywood, too. In his lecture: “You’ve just been erased!” the Berlin journalist Tilman Baumgärtel will give virtuality and immateriality of Hollywood-feature films a close look. His lecture will discuss the question how the invisible becomes visible. He has made use of numerous examples of Hollywood productions, like “Copykill” and “Ghost in the Machine”. Subsequent to the lecture “Eraser”, as an outstanding example, will be shown in full length. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the prime example of the classical fictional-action-hero. In the science-fiction classic “Terminator”, Schwarzenegger plays a man-machine from future, acting in our present time. In many other films Schwarzenegger impressively verifies that simulation and manipulation are inextricably linked with our real world and its effects on our body. Quoting Georg Seeßlen: “On the one hand Schwarzenegger films are (usually) films about the relationship between body and society, but on the other hand and that’s why they always had to be much cleverer than their critics they are films about the forged images of the world or even, like in “The Last Action Hero”, about the world of forged images.”
Videos included in the program block “Realfiction” in contrast to the above described Hollywood films do not follow the pattern of beeing attractive to the spectator. First of all, their statements and contents are directly based in our reality. From here they tie to the future in various ways. In “Blight”, a deeply emotional figment emerges from the (de)construction of our past and memory, about the collective loss on the one hand and the alarming vision of possible consequences of this deconstruction on the other. The authors of “A-clip” direct their look straight towards our city reality. Exclusion and gentrification are only some of the issues, analyzed regarding their effects on the future and examined for their possible consequences. The particularly remarkable fact of “A-clip” is, that the producers have found new directions for distribution and communication. The “A-clips” appear unexpectedly (in a 35mm version) in the commercial breaks in cinema, accompanied by Marlboro-men and catchy advertisement beauties, creating by their different aesthetic qualities and messages moments of irritation and reflection before we, comfortably seated, dig into our popcorn again. Thinking ahead, following it through its logical consequences, this idea of peeping through commercial breaks, could become a subversive strategy, interesting for television broadcasting companies. It should be possible after all, to acquire time in commercial television, especially from private TV-stations, in hours of low viewing figures, with little financial effort, in order to accordingly use these sources of friction. In other countries Stefaan Decostere for example succeeded to go similar subversive ways, during TV-primetime. “Travelogue 5: Déjà-Vu” had its premiere on Belgian television. In the very first minutes, Decostere bombards the viewer with the “superzapping” of “real images”, whose effects on eye and head can only be thwarted, by either changing the programm or turning the TV off completely. Once the physical strain has been overcome, the viewer lands in tomorrow’s incredible world. Taking Japan as an example, Decostere expounds, that in this new world the simulation of reality is fostered in theme-parks: time, space, nature and even the weather can be controlled. Here, fiction becomes reality and reality becomes fiction.