This installation is based on the video piece "-273,15℃=0 Kelvin", juxtaposing images of Andrei Tarkovsky's movie "Solaris" and a building used by a former East German radio station.
Footage of the radio station's interior as used in "-273,15℃=0 Kelvin", images inspired by a scene from "Solaris", and additional material produced for this work, are projected onto ten large-sized screens lined up in a spiral-shaped layout in the exhibition space. Overpowered by exquisitely dazzling images mixing reality and recollection, past and present, fiction and non-fiction, capitalist and socialist reality, visitors discover the odd common ground both radio station and Solaris share as "environments in which something seems to be conserved in a frozen state", and witness what people are trying to replicate/complement in such environments.
Filmed inside a building in which the former East German radio station "Rundfunk der DDR" was once based, this work highlights the building's peculiar sense of presence through long takes. Overlapping with footage of the building are images inspired by a scene from the movie "Solaris", and pictures reminiscent of Gerhard Richter's painting "18. Oktober 1977".
The title refers to the absolute zero temperature (-273.15℃) that is unattainable for human beings, and psychologist Kelvin, the protagonist in "Solaris", who is troubled by the power of the sea of Solaris to reproduce all kinds of appearances.
Rundfunk der DDR
State-run radio station established in 1956 under the former East German administration in Berlin's Nalepastrasse. The building (DDR Rundfunkzentrum) was designed by former Bauhaus student, architect Franz Ehrich. The institution, constructed using various cutting-edge technologies of the time, boasts excellent acoustic settings that haven't lost their validity even today, including a recording hall that has been suspended in mid-air solely for the purpose of noise reduction.
The spiral arrangement of screens in this work is derived from the characteristic shape of the radio station's recording studio.
Scenes added for this work
A sequence from "Solaris" showing a future city kind of scenery, and a video reproduction of that scene, have been added to this work as elemental components. The former is a sequence of about five minutes length shot in Tokyo during Tarkovsky's visit to Japan in summer 1972, combining images filmed while driving on the Metropolitan Expressway, and images looking down on the Tokyo cityscape. Fischer & el Sani analyzed these pictures carefully, and found out not only the highway route, but also identified the place overseeing the city as a room at Akasaka Prince Hotel, which enabled them to produce an almost exact video replica of the "Solaris" scene.
By placing these two types of imagery side by side, in this work the artists pungently counterpoint aspects of fiction and reality, past and present, to expose the differences between both.