Images
Caligari und der Schlafwandler (Caligari and the Sleepwalker), 2008
Installation, single channel projection, black box with black boards, single channel video on monitor, DVD NTSC 16:9

Exhibition View:
Javier Téllez, "Mind the gap", 2009, Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, Switzerland, cur. Sabine Schaschl


During the exhibition visitors were invited to write their own slogans and thoughts on the blackboards on the exterior of the black box. This generated an exchange between past and present visitors, who would reply to past writings or use the sponge to erase a board and start new.

Javier Téllez newest film installation was shown for the first time at the group show „Rational/Irrational“ at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, which run until January 11th, 2009. Inspired by Robert Wiene’s 1920 film classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, he formed in collaboration with non-professional actors/patients a series of workshops at Vivantes Klinik in Berlin. The result of their sessions together produced the film installation, Caligari und der Schlafwander (Caligari and the sleepwalker). The setting for the film takes place in and outside of Erich Mendelsohn’s expressionist Einstein Turm (tower) in Potsdam, in the auditorium of Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and at the Klinik. The film opens with a line from Jean Genet’s play The Blacks: A Clown Show, (Genet was himself inspired by Jean Rouch’s film Les Maîtres Fous), which picks up the ideas of a play within the play and of role reversals in order to question the psychiatric institution and ideas of normalcy and pathology. In the workshops the participants were asked to engage in the creation of fictional narratives based on the original 1920 film. The incorporation of the solar observatory in the Einstein Tower as the main element of the film reflects the multiple optical natures of the cinematic apparatus. Its expressionistic architecture serves as a reference to the original set design of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and helps to catalyze the patients' performances. Through an anthropological approach that merges documentary and fiction film style, performances are rooted in role-playing and improvisation. The film brings out ideas that circulate around concepts of the 'Doppelgänger', subjective perceptions of space, possession, otherness, and schizophrenia.
(based on a text by Valerie Smith, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2008)

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