Film Still, Robin Thomson

Film Still, Robin Thomson

 

 

Not all of us are yet in Tallinn though, with the other exhibitors working away in Scotland and Germany. News reaches us from the former DDR of some demonic experiments with a second hand Super-8 camera, in Robin Thomson’s studio. He writes:

In my studio-head right now there is a strange mixture of feelings, images and nostalgias prompted by recent things: perpetual escalators, city perspectives from late night roof-top car parks, early morning ‘Flohmarkts’ (i.e. a Turkish man selling a diapositive projector for only ten cents), late-night ‘Sperrmühl’ hunting, the ware-house Bauhaus-become library (actual Titanic house of reproducible objects) where I do my research. Super 8 equipment given to me by a Herr Volmeister that was probably locked up in his cellar for more than thirty years, that inspired a nostalgia for the Mechanical Age of film–– being able to see the wheels turning the reelsrunning the images; slowing it down manually, speeding it up–– but soon faded or rather flopped as I realized the shortcomings of the ancient rubber drive-belts. I developed a special relationship with a young oak tree, inspired partly by a visit to and subsequent photos of the ‘Stadtgarten’, a small paradise of domesticated flora I spotted housed and spotlighted in a corner of the mega-ware-house, and also in part by baking potatoes for the public. A story in the local paper that reviled the defunct bicycles and street signs sunk in the city-river. Digitally transferred footage of an unknown voyage to Italy in 1976, with Fleetwood Mac playing soothingly in the background, from which I put together a surrealist-like film of architectural acrobatics; many storied buildings concertinaing from baroque windows and towers descending from their steeples. Whether its transitory verbs, automobiles, escalators, temperamental projectors or garden shed tools, its nothing short of a Ballardian-Macluhan melange of prophesizing urbanality. 

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