In January 2012 CIRCA Projects presented the first solo exhibition in the UK, outside of London, by the German artist Clemens von Wedemeyer. The celebrated work of von Wedemeyer is characterised by its exploration of the rituals of cinema and documentary, and by its use of looping narratives and dizzying repetition.
Against Death (2009) and From the opposite side (2007), represent the artist’s use of cinematic strategies and motifs in his attempt to draw together the relationship between the two languages of cinema and art. Emerging out of the artworks themselves, the concept for this exhibition format draws on the constantly revolving scenarios we see in von Wedemeyer’s films as they loop temporally, physically and narratively within a space, pushing the boundaries of the screen.
From the opposite side
12 January — 8 February 2012
From the Opposite Side (2007) follows a day passing in a train station in a small German town from a subjective camera eye. The film starts where it ends, and its looping nature leads the viewer to question its apparent documentary elements. From the Opposite Side was shot with a hidden camera, from the perspective of someone wandering the streets – actors play passers-by, and passers-by thus become actors. Filmed on location around an old cinema near Münster Central Station, it was shown to critical acclaim as an installation in the cinema as part of Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2007.
9 February — 24 February 2012
In Against Death (2009) a man has seemingly become immortal after joining a tribal ritual. The film is part of von Wedemeyer’s project The Fourth Wall (2009), an exploration of the myth of the Tasaday people – an allegedly undiscovered tribe in the Philippine rainforest which came to international attention in the 1970s. At CIRCA Screen, Against Death is presented together with the film Interview (2009) which depicts the talking head of Geoffrey Frand, described as lecturer, ethnographer and actor; it is not at all obvious which guise we are seeing.