Pola Sieverding
2014, 15:20 min
Day 1, Screening 4
15 Dec 2018, 17:30

„Something that never changes, by day, or by night. The past represents its future. It goes forth in a straight line, yet it ends by coming full circle.“ — Lemmy Caution to Alpha 60

CLOSE TO CONCRETE II, filmed in Berlin in 2014, and adjecent to CLOSE TO CONCRETE I, filmed in Lisbon in 2011, is the second in a series of architectural portraits by Pola Sieverding. Both videos show how much formal aesthetic concepts of art since the eraly 20th century have conditioned our gaze towards our surrounding as well as her interest in materiality seen through the camera and the narrative quality of sound.

In CLOSE TO CONCRETE II we see the façades of Märkisches Viertel and Marzahn-Hellersdorf, two large-scale housing estates in Berlin. The camera slowly and deliberately pans across its main materiality, concrete, and the structures formed by its windows.

We look at concrete as a representative of a utopia, a no-space, that has rare site specificity but defines very particular social spaces worldwide. By treating architecture as a character in its own right, a method elaborated by Michelangelo Antonioni, Sieverding refers to the potential human space it determines.

Developed from different sources like the "Symphonies of the planets - NASA Voyager Recordings" from 1977 or Jean-Luc Godard's "Alphaville" from 1965 and a certain "space" sound composed from various wind recordings and syntheziser sounds, the soundtrack enhances the idea of a distant future which has now become the present. That present being the mid-20th century with its race to the moon and modern concepts of mass organization.

Image copyright: © Pola Sieverding, VG Bild-Kunst

Filmed in Berlin.
Camera: Pola Sieverding, Ulrich Urban
Editing: Pola Sieverding
Digital Mastering: Christoph Manz
Sound Design: Julian Holzapfel, Orson Sieverding
Sound Sources: “Symphonies of the planets – NASA Voyager Recordings”,1977; “Ballade von der Unzulänglichkeit menschlichen Strebens”, Bertold Brecht, 1928; “Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution”, Jean-Luc Godard, 1965