“The Berlin Wall is long and short” Jean-Luc Godard

VIRTWALL is a video installation project for the cinema Arsenal, evoking the sense of the Berlin Wall.

The Wall, a potent geo-political sign, is revisited trough its representation in the history of the cinema, making use of classic and independent films, as well as records on Super 8 and 16mm produced by amateurs. The installation engages with its subject in three phases : “phantasmagoria”, “construction” and “deconstruction”.

The images of these phases are articulated through a deconstruction of some notions which have crystallized about the Berlin Wall, such as the dichotomies communism/capitalism, modernity/post-modernity, totalitarianism/democracy and even their presence/fall. They address a semiotic dimension of the Wall, that speaks of its existence today, beyond its physicality and territorial dimension, explaining the historical wound that accompanies a universe of “mental walls.”

Two additional screens are to be installed on the right and left of the main cinema screen, creating different overlapping and interacting temporalities and layers of meaning. Using archival footage, the work intends to oppose the rigidity of the concrete structure at its core by conveying an idea of the absence of gravity and evoke absences and gaps in the Wall’s history, as well as open spaces for issues still to be formulated and the possibility of creating new sounds and images.

An integral part of the video installation is a VJ, who manipulates and mixes images in real time in which images are projected and also recombined randomly.

The work gives emphasis to an epochal imaginary involving the authors of cinema whose countries occupied Berlin after World War II, dividing it into four sectors. It will incorporated films that address the Berlin Wall produced in the United States, Britain, France and Russia (USSR), and authors such as Hitchcook and A. Dovshenko, as well as German classics such as Nosferatu, FAUST and M – EINE STADT SUCHT EINEN MÖRDER, as an allusion to the “ghosts” that foreshadowed the War.

The soundtrack of the video installation will have a dreamlike tone, almost whispery, as opposed to the heavy sounds of history. The music will also quote movies of the period. The title VIRTWALL, juxtaposes the words “virtual” and “wall”. It talks, on the one hand, of these crystallized “unreal” images, and secondly, of the inscription, through art, of a new meaning that goes beyond those walls.

Film program in June 2013

Biography of Joel Pizzini