I once made a video about my experiences at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art, or MMK for short) in Frankfurt, Germany. You can view this on my YouTube channel (although it’s one of my first videos and not very good). Here is a blog post about the experience that can accompany that online video or vice versa.
First, my time in the museum was a thought-provoking experience. I found the works forced me to connect with my own thoughts and encounter the world in ways I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise (in that moment). Or, at least, they encouraged me to acknowledge those thoughts. Some of the works that stayed with me were the films that were on display, as well as an interactive artwork, and an artist I discovered whose work I’ll have to read more about.
One of short films I had to take note of was Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s Secteur IX B. This was a film from 2015 that lasted around 40 minutes, or just over. You can find a teaser for this film online here. The teaser’s great, but I recommend seeing the actual full film. Sit through it. Absorb it. It’s so well made that it’ll inspire you to make your own films. When I watched it, I had to sit through the whole thing. 40 mins seems long for an artwork in a gallery with so many other works beckoning, but this really gripped me. I won’t say too much about the content because it’s not for me to spoil the experience for anyone else. I believe it’ll be showed in other art galleries so don’t worry if you’re not up for travelling far. I did some online research and I’ve found it’s also been shown in Tate Modern in London, so no doubt there’s going to be loads of opportunity to see it.
The next film I’m going to talk to you about is Safe Conduct by Ed Atkins (2016). Here’s the installation-view teaser. To be honest, this is more of an installation piece than a short film as we might think of one. It’s actually horrifying. Its content is very repetitive, and it seems very mechanical and calm, almost hypnotic, yet still horrific. It’s really unnerving to watch. It made me think about how everything in our life is reduced to a mechanically reproduced commodity. In the artwork, things that definitely shouldn’t be mechanically reproduced were mechanically reproduced. There was a nauseating juxtaposition of organic matter and machinery. You can’t help but worry about some sort of horrifying dystopian future, and also feel guilty that you might be part of its cause. Again, I recommend you immerse yourself in this artwork to get the full impact of it. It’s one thing to read about it online, another thing to be amidst the installation.Continue reading