A Bit of a Complex Situation

by: Elske Rosenfeld

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2014, two-channel video (HD), 17’16’', stereo sound, color, 16:9 | Courtesy: the artist

A Bit of a Complex Situation is an intervention into footage from the first meeting of the Central Round Table of the GDR held on December 7th, 1989. During the course of a ten-minute scene taken from the recording, the meeting’s participants try to agree on a response to a demonstration passing by the building. As the participants debate, sounds from the demonstration ebb and flow outside the window. In the footage, the demonstrators are never seen, only heard.

As the scene unfolds, we witness a series of interventions that are based on motions and gestures taken from the original material – pans, zooms, the shaking of the camera, movements made by participants – and on the different qualities and sources of sound. These are amplified, repeated and looped in order to confront and confound notions of inside and outside, language and body, representation and embodiment.

Text By Elske Rosenfeld


Concept and editing: Elske Rosenfeld
Sound: Felicitas Heck
Colour Correction: Sebastian Bodirsky
Technical Assistance: Minze Tummescheidt
Original Footage: Klaus Freymuth, Courtesy of Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft

Elske Rosenfeld uses different textual and artistic formats to look at historical scenarios of political upheaval and their potential for affecting political change. Her primary focus and material are the histories of state-socialism and its dissidences, as well as the 1989/90 revolution. The ongoing project A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures investigates how political events manifest in the bodies of their protagonists. Her work has been shown internationally, among others at Herbstsalon III, Gorki Theater, Berlin (2017); mumok kino, Vienna (2016 and 2013); steirischer herbst, Graz (2015). Her texts have been published in/on Berliner Hefteeipcp.net, Springerin, and elsewhere.