Siegfried A. Fruhauf

Mountain Trip (Hoehenrausch) (1999) 16mm, b/w, 4 min

Genre: Experimental

Mountain Trip is a cinematic myriorama constructed of hundreds of Austrian postcards, which reflect a country's hackneyed trappings as no other medium can. (Siegfried A. Fruhauf) The parameters of this experiment have been clearly defined: Two rows of postcards with mountain motifs (the cards in the upper row have been turned on their heads) are juxtaposed in such a way that mountains point to other mountains, the denouement of a massif butts up against a meadow, etc., resembling Chinese "cadavre exquis" cards which can be arranged to show an endless landscape. The camera pans to the right, and its speed varies while alpine folk music plays in a monotonous loop. One would expect the camera's movements to accelerate, the mountains flowing together into a blurred line. Instead, Fruhauf works with imponderabilities, breaks and irritations. The acceleration is not continuous; there are new approaches, repetitions of motifs and jumps. The transitions shift and are jerky as if the postcards were held in someone's hand; the unity of the individual shots is extremely unstable.... While the observer's gaze willingly accepts the alpine panoramas at first, it is gradually channeled into the undercurrent of something in between, the irregular border between top and bottom. The accuracy of detail in the mountain genres (according to statistics, most people still think of a mountain landscape when asked to imagine a "pretty picture") dissolves into a non-referential dynamic. One is reminded of how the borders come alive in the course of several hours in Michael Snow's La region centrale and may regret that this trip ends after only four minutes. (Birgit Flos)

16mm Rental: $34.00

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