Thievery and Songs (2016, 22:40 Min.)
Thievery and Songs is made up of several interlocking narrative threads with no discernible hierarchy. A narrator betraying little emotion recounts his session of psychoanalysis where the therapist was remarkable less for his professional expertise than for his obsession with his patient’s Austrian origins. He tells the devastating story of a great aunt who, as a rural serf in the 1930s, suffered despotic treatment at the hands of a Nazi farmer, at the same time drawing parallels between Austrian post-war art and Catholicism and framing all this with a story about a Jewish dancer who fled to Mumbai in 1938. Apart from performances he filmed himself we see adapted photographs, clay models and drawings. These partly visualise what we hear and partly undermine it in absurd ways. Apart from the reflections on Austria, the video encourages us to explore deeper issues about memory, about how history is written and how identity is formed. The tone is one of gentle wit hovering on the verge of melancholy.
Gernot Wieland was born in Horn (Austria) in 1968. He studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. His films have been shown, for example, at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, the Kunstverein in Kassel, the Kunsthaus in Graz and the Liverpool Biennial. Wieland has received a number of awards, most recently the EMAF Media Art Award 2019 from the German Film Critics. He lives in Berlin.