_Lives in London

Tuin, 1998
16 mm-film, twin DVD, 2 CDs (color, sound), approx. 6'
Courtesy of the artist and
Jay Jopling / White Cube, London
view a sequence 3000 KB


Runa Islam and David Bussel

DB_ Your work Tuin is based upon a scene from Fassbinder's film Martha. Could you explain the reference?
RI_ The particular scene that I’ve used in the work Tuin is an archetypal moment, a filmic mechanism that’s often used for very romantic parts in pop-videos, Bollywood and clichéd Hollywood films where the characters are shot in a 360° rotating view. In Martha it has a very considered use at a pivotal moment in the film where a new character and a new narrative are introduced. As a symbol of a total turnaround it signalled a trajectory of demise for the female protagonist. Fassbinder offers a terrible incite into the sado-masochistic intrigues of male-female relationships. It’s a very disturbing film, and Fassbinder is particularly profound and notorious for showing the malign aspects in human motions and relationships. He sees the people he portrays as incapable of being happy, and tragically beyond hope. I found the 360 turn so hypnotising that I felt it was enough to take that moment of spectacle and extract it from the film. My remake was in 16mm film and I added the use of video cameras, given to the actors to film from their own point of view. From their perspectives, the woman gets to look back at the man and my intention was to simultaneously reveal the whole theatre of the set-up. The camera crew, the equipment and the drama are exposed. The 360 track becomes a very important motif. I think the moment in the film when the man eclipses the woman is very important, not necessarily for feminist reasons but for any person whose identity has been overshadowed by anothers. Fassbinder had used the movement ideologically and had critically calculated its effectiveness to the plot. I wanted the scene to represent an overall view creating a dialectic between the objective and the subjective. (..)

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