The seen walls of lost Eden

Video (loop)   2006    4.34 min.

Lost like an exiled the black figure of an old man (represented by the artist herself) wanders down a deserted motorway into “the night of advance and development”, locked out of “the lost Eden”, in between the red earthy ravines, which appear like wounds carved into the landscape. The camera perspective alternates between one of sovereignty, an almost birds eye view of the motorway, which gives the forlorn, misplaced human figure an almost tragicomic appearance, and another following the subjectivity of the stumbling individual. The sound reinforces the difference even further: a wind silently blows as we see the figure struggling beneath us, when we follow, the loud sound of passing cars appears to show the invisible, as imagined by the protagonist. The protagonist could be taken from a Beckett drama (e.g. ”Endgame”), but also derives from the Victorian figure of the art and social critic John Ruskin, as an already old man. His sentence about “the seen walls of lost Eden” closes the video into a loop. John Ruskin was in some way the lonesome fighter against the negative influences of the industrialisation, which in his opinion brought upon a loss of human individuality in mass production and an alienation from nature and a ruthless exploitation of natural resources. Nature, landscape and its identity become emblematic with the lost Eden. But the idea of a lost Eden is also ambivalent and the difficulties to deal with the loss of values that are transient, includes a kind of escapism as well.



16mm Film, digitalised (DVD)
Original Score: Alexander Wagendristel,
 6.20 min.

In the film „Sonate“ I tried consciously to let the onlooker formulate again and again new hypothesis concerning its causal, chronological and spacial contradictions. It does not only deal with the perception of the onlooker’s reality, but within the film the main theme is how reality is shaped by memory and how memory influences the subjective perception of reality.

I asked the Viennese composer Alexander Wagendristel to recreate the Violinsonata of Vinteuil, which plays an important part throughout Marcel Proust’s „A la recherche du temps perdu“. The composer Vinteuil is fictitious as well as the violinsonata itself. Scientists tried to locate the Sonata in the range of César Franck, Camille Saint-Saens and even Wagner, relying on Proust’s descriptions. But this is a senseless undertaking, as the Sonata remains tied to Marcel Proust’s Microcosm, and can only emerge within it.

The film “Sonate” is not a reconstruction of the sonata of Vinteuil, but the description of a mental process, of the moment of involuntary memory; how the inner occurrence of reception of a piece of art can be reflected with images and sound. The piece of art leads to a realization of inner identity and reconstitutes reality in its poetics. It is not a retrospective adjustment of the original contains of reality. Proust calls the synchronicity within memory of present and past the Immaterial, joining two chronologically distant moments, creating an essence of things outside of time.

The act of memory is reflected within physical space. The camera travels through one room, which changes continuously. Proust writes that the geometry in space is the equvivalent of the psychology within time.

„Sonate“ deals with locality as not only belonging to the space we are thinking it in, but how as a thin extract of memory, locality is subjected to the image, to the moment.


A Film by Anna Mitterer 2008 6.7 min, 16mm/DVD

Original Soundtrack Alexander Wagendristel 
(Hommage à Vinteuil)

Violin Bojidara Kouzmanova

Piano Kaori Nishii

Recording Egineer Heinz Kohlbauer

Camera Peter Pulker

Editing Silvia Schönhardt

Swann Alexander Emanuely

Odette Anna Mitterer



Videos in Archiven/Editionen:

ursula blickle videoarchiv kunsthalle wien
Medienwerkstatt Wien Video Edition Austria release 02/2008