Johanna Domke

Johanna Domke "The featherlike lightness of Domke’s artworks originates only partially from her substitution of gravity. For equally substituted are time, space, communication and movement – fundamental visual coordinates that, along with gravity, mutate like warm clay in her hands. However, none of these mutations seem able to explain why her videos and photographs apparear so remarkably light. The lightness of her work has more to do with her refusal to sincerely investigate these notions. Resisting all deadpan approaches with contagious delight, she suspends time or gravity just to unsettle our view a little and to prepare us to see differently. Many viewers often smile in return and some even laugh out loud. If we also marvel, it is because she bends time and space out of shape with such surprising ease. They virtually melt from the simple, but profoundly thorough trick photography that she practices. Avoiding digital postproduction, Domke works with oldschool trickshots in rigged rooms that tilt, or with a back wall that is made to look like a floor; sometimes a projection does the trick, sometimes a video runs backwards, in loops, upside down, or is shot so that an entire day flies by in a few minutes. The truly remarkable thing about it all is that we stay fascinated even after the tricks have been called." (Excerpt from a text by Dag Petterson on, 2006) Website of the Artist:

On Air: Johanna Domke

The ikono On Air Festival will show three films by Johanna Domke: Let the wind blow Johanna Domke Duration: 04:13 min From the top of a windy hill, two motionless figures overlook a valley with a teeming big city. One is standing up, the other sits on the ground, the distance between them too large to evoke a sense of togetherness. With the employed video trick the day-and-night cycle is compressed to last merely a few minutes: the clouds race across the sky, the night falls like a brick and thousands of lights gleam at once in the valley before dawn breaks, the sun flies up and a new day begins. All the while, the two figures remain absolutely still before the unfolding scenery. Only the wind blows in their clothes and their hair. That is it; and it is that simple. A new block of reality emerges with that touch of the wind, with its affections on a mineralized human body affecting the viewer: a new possible relationship, a different sensation of the body. Cuers Johanna Domke Duration: 18:05 min loop, 2008 “Cuers” is inspired by Franz Kafka’s “The trial” and the filmic universe of Orson Welles. The audience is taken on a fleeting and meandering journey through different sites in public space, where people are exposed to long waiting. The individual is presented as a singular being, confronting structures of public space. The particular situations are represented in an inspiratorial manner shifting in and out of eachother. Time and space is dissolved in kaleidoscopic pictures, which emphasizes how we physically as well as mentally have trouble adjusting to our anonymouse environment. “ Cuers” seeks to create a mental space through abstraction and subversion of the familiar. Stultifera Garden Johanna Domke Duration: 12:05 min, 2008 Domke’s newest film Stultifera Garden deals with an overlapping structure of the public and the private. The film is set in a park – a cultivated form of nature. In baroque times the park functions as a symbol of power by the oligarchy, demonstrating their influence by forcing nature into a human ideal. The traditional garden is a place where the entire world is represented in highly symbolic symmetry and perfection. Today it is a place were city dwellers recover from busy urban life. At the same time it is a place implementing the “elsewhere” - an un-ruled territory for individuals who are in conflict with society or the human milieu in which they live. It is also a place for individuals whose behaviour is deviant with the respect to the mean or the required norm. As in earlier works, Domke uses a travelling camera to approach the parks diverse character, emphasizing polarities as observing and being watched, high and low culture, control and non-control. The incessant pan evolves from a classic portal towards a dystopic, mazy structure of trails. The camera experiences different milieus of the park not directly examining them but portraying them with an inexplicit openness. She accesses milieus that formed architectonical structures in the shrubs, such as cruising areas and drug trafficking points. She discovers places that became functionalised entities - for teens as a get-away, for elderly as a meeting point - each and everyone with their own character and history. Without stating explicit action or narrative Stultifera Garden is more interested to explain that a park is a place for the other, where all these milieus and facets function along side. Intruding as an omniscient eye, Domke is constructing the real to establish the fictitious.

Other Videos by Johanna Domke

CROP - Trailer CROP is an experimental documentary co-directed by Johanna Domke (DE) and Marouan Omara (EG). The film reflects upon the impact of images in the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 and puts it in relation to the image politics of Egypt´s leaders. Instead of showing footage from the revolution, the film is shot entirely in the power domain of images - Egypt´s oldest and most influential state newspaper Al Ahram. Throughout the building – from the top-level executive office towards the smallest worker – we follow the story of a photo-journalist, that missed the revolution due to a hospital stay. After resuming his work in the newspaper, his life seems not quite the same. His voice gives a personal reflection to the media ploys of the old regime. Officially selected for: IFFR Søen I Spejlet (Lake in the Mirror ) Excerpt from Experimental Film, 25min, 16mm, © 2009 Søen i spejlet (lake in the mirror) deals with nature as a refuge where the rules and hierarchies of society are put out of play – at least until new hierarchies and rituals start regulating the refuge. The film is the re-enactment of a former boarding school tradition in Denmark. Once a year the students of Sorø Academy held a ritual out in the woods, burning effigies of their teachers on a bonfire. The narrative of the film evolves around the character of a former student that revisits the place of his school days meeting with a group of young students. What first seems to be the fictionalization of the former student´s memory, becomes more and more the documentation of the staging of the ritual – the alumni himself being the director. But as soon as the ritual sets off, all turns to a different state of realness, as the anger and emotion of the young students boil up to an uncanny level of authenticity. Credits • Director, Script, Producer: Johanna Domke • Camera: Anne Misselwitz • Sound: Nils Vogel • Editor: Angelika von Chamier

Curator's Special

Part of the curatorial selection by Blink Video