AGAIN AUDIENCE  |  Some exercise in complex seeing is needed


Videostill, Some exercise in complex seeing is needed, AT / 2012 3 min.

Whoever swims with the current has already lost. Whoever lets themselves drift along is wasting their energy. Some exercise in complex seeing is needed shows a person pushing back against the current, though they’re apparently unable to move an inch. A contradiction? Not at all. Dertnig’s film about swimming against the current creates an energetic resonance in the regularity and duration it renders, but this is above all a visual manifestation of the antonym of random, aimless action’s senselessness. At the same time, no excessive demands are made of this duality as a basis of meaning, interpretation or content, as such expectations are far from this work’s intention. The film has been reduced to a minimalism that enables it to convey the complex stress and strain of daily work done on it. The statement is put quite succinctly: It’s better to swim against the current and mark time, as that sharpens the concentration and series of movements. Which brings us to the performative. By means of the soundtrack Dertnig reveals a highly personal index of past performances and with that an attitude toward reference systems. They’re always subjective and reflect personal preferences and regard, etc., at best comprising a little cosmos that one can take part in. Their alphabetical almanac of terms, clichés and references — such as for the Suffragettes, Duchamp, the quote attributed to Emma Goldman (“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” which long ago became the name of a mobile feminist curatorial platform again, though it also refers to her own work as a curator): Dertnig recites it in the particular rhythm of Rap to give her tag cloud an additional frame of assertion, that of trial, the attempt as an essential moment in performance. Trial is also a struggle against the loss of the political; trial is Dertnig’s constant state.


(Carola Platzek)