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von Wedemeyer Clemens

Is one of the most talented representatives of the young generation of video artists. He studied at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts, he has taken several international awards for short films, video works, and installations including Böttcherstrasse Art Award in Bremen (2005), the VG Bildkunst Award for Experimental Film (2002) and Marion Ermer Award (2002). Since 2002, he has taken part in numerous exhibitions presenting contemporary art in, among others, Dresden, Cologne, Paris, at the Moscow Biennial, in the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York as well as in Jerusalem or Taipei. In frames of several individual exhibitions, Wedemeyer’s works have been also presented in Vienna, Paris, and recently in Santiago de Compostela.

Wedemeyer’s latest film Rien du tout (2006, in co-operations with Maya Schweizer) is based Catastrophe, a play by Samuel Beckett. It was screened both at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 2006 where it took the prize for the best German film as well as at the 4th Biennial in Berlin. In 2005, Wedemeyer created a loop-film Otjesd, produced for the needs of the Moscow Biennial. The film consists of one take within the frames of which the camera circulates for a dozen or so minutes among the crowd of people waiting to receive visas, picking from among them specific characters and paraphernalia characteristic for a border crossing.

In an interview for ART Margins Wedemeyer talked about his film:

”(...) Maybe as a German I can tell more about the city in which I live [Berlin] but I do not know so much about Moscow. So then I thought that maybe I could tell something about the policies of getting visas, criticizing the German attitude… And maybe by the same token I could say something about the Russian emigrants, those who leave Russia because to leave your country can be a political act. Some of our actors told me that they were not quite sure how our film would be seen in Moscow because the people who leave Russia are not considered patriots. Though maybe they still are because some keep their Russian heritage alive in Berlin, at least some of them.

(...) I myself had to leave my bag somewhere when I wanted to get a visa at the Russian embassy in Berlin. So I just took this plot line and added the character of the girl who has to leave her bag somewhere. That’s the action inside a potpourri of different things..

(...) I think that “Otjezd” is about borders, though not only in the sense you mentioned: Real borders, such as the border inside cities like Moscow where you have a German embassy, which acts like a border between two different states. It’s also about the border between reality and fiction.”

During the ArtBoom Festival Otjesd was shown in a black-box which was located at Plac Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego. Also Wedemeyer’s second film Metropolis, Report From China, realised in co-operation with Maya Schweizer, were presented in Krakow. Maya Schweizer (born in 1976) is an artist and film director. She studied at the Leipzig Academy of Fine Arts and at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. In 2006, she won an award at the Oberhausen Film Festival. Her works have been presented at multiple collective exhibitions, among others in the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Metropolis, Report From China

In 2004, Schweizer and Wedemeyer embarked on a journey to China to collect materials for a film which would be a reference to Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”. They did not intend to shoot a remake, but their intention was to create a work which would be a reference to the master’s masterpiece, but autonomous in terms of the climate. The outcome was a documentary in which two myths meet. One of them is the idea of modern totalitarianism described by Fritz Lang, which is confronted against the myth of modern China, with its increasing fixation with Western culture. “Metropolis, Report From China”, shot in Beijing and Shanghai, consists of interviews with workers and architects, archival materials and photos as well as contemporary pictures of the 21st century metropolis. The film poses questions about the costs which China bears in the name of modernisation, development, and progress.

Project curator: Joanna Walewska

Pcitures: Weronika Szmuc

12/06/2009 - 22/06/2009



Metropolis, Report From China

Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego Square
Pod Baranami Cinema
Main Market no 27