Patrick Topitschnig | Subsidence
13 – 29 July 2017
“Through precisely composed filmic tableaux and minimal movements, the work Carusel encapsulates the image of an underground, post-apocalyptic playground, while elsewhere various doomsday scenarios take their course. It portrays the Zeitgeist-phenomenon celebrated by pop culture in graphic novels, computer games and television series in all of its pessimistic bliss.
Carusel triggers chains of associations between mythical traditions and the fear of darkness, the underground and uncertainty. In an elevator ride in one of the scenes towards the end of the film, we eavesdrop on the conversation of a family, suggesting that the world is still standing.
Carusel was shot in the damp caverns of a former Romanian salt mine, “Salina Turda”, which was reused as a bomb shelter during World War II and then refurbished as an underground amusement park. Though equipped with a carousel, ping-pong tables, a children’s playground and rowboats, the site with its massive threatening/imposing steel structures and surreal neon-objects still radiates a gloomy atmosphere and ambience of fear.
It seems that the mythical echoes of the past still resonate in this space, and absurdly merge with the eerie and bizarre theme park.” – Marlies Wirth
Patrick Topitschnig is a Vienna-based film maker and audio artist working primarily with video and sound within installative contexts. His works center on direct physical experienc, the immediate reception of time, enduring and measuring the passing of time through a visual or acoustic medium. Repetition and continuous oscillations constitute a recurrent theme.
The static camera shots in Topitschnig’s works evoke strong visual impressions and through the camera‘s intense observation, these shots of the seemingly staged landscapes create an imprinted visual memory of the detailed imagery.
The narratives shift from mystical romanticizing or bizarre exaggeration to scrutinizing fundamental themes of humanity, while the fragility of the „conditio humana“ is always implied in a quiet manner.