Umělec magazine 2009/2 >> IMPORT EXPORT Ulrich Seidl List of all editions.
IMPORT EXPORT Ulrich Seidl
Umělec magazine
Year 2009, 2
6,50 EUR
8 USD
Send the printed edition:
Order subscription

IMPORT EXPORT Ulrich Seidl

Umělec magazine 2009/2

01.02.2009

Magdaléna Bažantová | art market | en cs de

In Ukraine, water does not flow, and colors—if there ever were any—have long faded away. People do not take their hats off when they are inside, they do not greet each other, and they are often ill. Austria cares a great deal about neatness. Perhaps it’s thanks to the abundance of corpses? Dead stuffing, dead relationships, population growing old. People are closer to buffers than to housekeepers, who are left dragging one another back and forth absurdly among each other. You will not keep your head above water if you are not dead serious about embalming.
Some miles further west, there is not much mood for fun either. Your education and personality are useless if there is no one to pay you for it. However, one will pay you for being a woman under thirty with dyed hair and a decent figure. If this does not help either, you can also give up on family relationships, children, home, and your mother tongue and go to the west. Not that anyone would notice your absence. On the contrary, they feel endangered by an unknown force. Basically, it is your willingness to be nobody that they find unconceivable and suspicious. How bright is it over here in Austria? How can we exist in a civilization of sterility?
Shout and let others shout at us within the bodyguard training even if we know that afterwards we are just checking the door and are filling out the forms with the option that nothing even happened? We get tattoos, drink, and talk about women. Then, when it comes to being close to them, we are unable to do anything else but just show them our unfounded power. It’s no wonder that Austrian women wreak vengeance upon people with even lower social status. „I may hire or fire you. That‘s the way the cookie crumbles.“
Emptiness of the wife who does not pardon any hint of virility—physical and energetic—is being filled out by further feelings of power and superiority. Suppressed envy results in economic sanctions or open violence. The nurse makes seniors childish and tortures them bit by bit—similarly to social systems, which undermine adulthood and offer toys and supervision in reward for obedience.
Seidl, however, is on the side of the tragedy-generating Ukrainian society, rather than on the side of the Austrian one. All this, in his interpretation, grows into useless awkwardness. Everything drowns in the awkwardness—partner relationships of long standing, employment, social systems, personal dreams of muscles and prosperity, desperate efforts to experience fun.
At a terrifying ball in a hospice, a song resounds and the lyrics go: “Happy is the man who forgets about things that cannot be changed...” On the other hand, the Ukrainian line goes: “My heart...” I like the trend of using exclusively diegetic music. Morbid mutterings of old people turns out to become a musical hospital for the spirit. I appreciate the strict chronological pacing of the movie. The cameraman does not use over-impressive shots; we only sometimes realize the tastefulness of the scene, like when the cleaners are standing upright in a half circle, father and son are sitting in the middle of a standardized living room, and so on.
Casting of non-actors works properly in this movie. The authentically dull expressions of girls in a Ukrainian hotel, the convincing senility of the elderly patients, the Romanian children fighting for chewing gums. The episode with Slovak Romanians does not fit too much in the content. For the observer, it is a merely interesting place and one might say that the principle that everything can be bought for money is illustrated at its fullest.
Pauli had of course known this before.
This environment, however, is intractable even for the rough ones with guarding training—not even money will make you master of the situation. On the contrary, if there is anything that can be taken, it will be taken away from you. Again, he goes through powerlessness, the same feeling he was exposed to at the supermarket parking lot where even his muscles were not enough to prevent him from the superior numbers of the youngsters. The only solution is to run away. For one who is a loser most of the time, there is no other option but defeat. One of the symptoms of being a loser is the inability to evaluate the situation. On the other hand, the child who runs away from his lecherous step-father seems to be victorious in a way.
But who is the winner? If it is “the man who forgets about things that cannot be changed” the winner is the head nurse and Pauli’s parents. But no one imagines a winner like that, and that would be the reason why so many critics could not get along with this movie. With whom could they identify themselves? In connection with this movie, some authors used words like cruelty, pornography, and abuse. I think the point was that there were no characters that seem morally indisputable. A character that knows, a character that is not just the creature of circumstance... It is just the “me”, which is missing. Yet Seidl is latently sympathetic with his heroes, so why not accept that we are a bit of Olga, a bit of Pauli, a bit of the jealous nurse, the unhinged step-father, a bit of a mother limited to buying blouses from delivery catalogues...and that one day we will be, in the best case, wearing diapers and muttering in bed. Shouting that Seidl is a voyeur and that it is impolite to illustrate contemporary society in this way is ridiculous. I would invite the agitated to stand outside in the street after the opening party of one of the festivals—perhaps they will observe a charming assemblage of citizens shining with humanism.
After watching the movie, I was relieved to find that Olga and Pauli did not meet.
I would also like to write something provocative about the movie. It is easier to read about these things, however; then you do not look like a blind admirer who, after coming home from the cinema, read columns in cultural sections and spurts out another paean to the author.
In the case of the movie IMPORT/EXPORT, however, I will leave it at that.





01.02.2009

Comments

There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

Intoxicated by Media Déjà-vu / Notes on Oliver Pietsche"s Image Strategy Intoxicated by Media Déjà-vu / Notes on Oliver Pietsche"s Image Strategy
Goff & Rosenthal gallery, Berlin, November 18 - December 30, 2006 Society permanently renegotiates the definition of drugs and our relationship towards them. In his forty-five minute found-footage film The Conquest of Happiness, produced in 2005, Oliver Pietsch, a Berlin-based video artist, demonstrates which drugs society can accommodate, which it cannot, and how the story of the drugs can be…
The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s
The editors of Umělec have decided to come up with a list of ten artists who, in our opinion, were of crucial importance for the Czech art scene in the 1990s. After long debate and the setting of criteria, we arrived at a list of names we consider significant for the local context, for the presentation of Czech art outside the country and especially for the future of art. Our criteria did not…
An unsuccessful co-production An unsuccessful co-production
If you know your way around, you might discover that every month and maybe even every week you stand the chance to receive money for your cultural project. Successful applicants have enough money, average applicants have enough to keep their mouths shut, and the unsuccessful ones are kept in check by the chance that they might get lucky in the future. One natural result has been the emergence of…
No Future For Censorship No Future For Censorship
Author dreaming of a future without censorship we have never got rid of. It seems, that people don‘t care while it grows stronger again.
04.02.2020 10:17
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Read more...
out - poetry
THC Review and the Condemned Past
THC Review and the Condemned Past
Ivan Mečl
We are the fifth global party! Pítr Dragota and Viki Shock, Fragmenty geniality / Fragments of Charisma, May and June 1997. When Viki came to visit, it was only to show me some drawings and collages. It was only as an afterthought that he showed me the Czech samizdat publication from the late 1990s, THC Review. When he saw how it fascinated me, he panicked and insisted that THAT creation is…
Read more...
prize
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
Read more...
birthing pains
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Zuzana Štefková
Expanding the definition of “mother” is also a space for reducing pressure and for potential liberation.1 Carol Stabile The year was 2003, and in the deep forests of Lapák in the Kladno area, a woman in the later phase of pregnancy stopped along the path. As part of the “Artists in the Woods” exhibit, passers-by could catch a glimpse of her round belly, which she exposed especially for them in…
Read more...
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
19,5 cm x 29,5 x 0,7 cm / 48 pages / offset / 1000 ex / Co-édition Picture Box
More info...
15 EUR
18 USD
Drowning Pool, 1995, acrylic painting on paper, 67 x 100 cm, on frame
More info...
3 200 EUR
3 781 USD
More info...
40,25 EUR
48 USD
Our practical AG (American Guide) for an easier orientation in the very specific environment of the United States. Adventures...
More info...
44 EUR
52 USD

Studio

Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...
 

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts

DIVUS
NOVÁ PERLA
Kyjov 36-37, 407 47 Krásná Lípa
Čzech Republic

 

GALLERY
perla@divus.cz, +420 222 264 830, +420 606 606 425
open from Wednesday to Sunday between 10am to 6pm
and on appointment.

 

CAFÉ & BOOKSHOP
shop@divus.cz, +420 222 264 830, +420 606 606 425
open from Wednesday to Sunday between 10am to 10pm
and on appointment.

 

STUDO & PRINTING
studio@divus.cz, +420 222 264 830, +420 602 269 888
open from Monday to Friday between 10am to 6pm

 

DIVUS PUBLISHING
Ivan Mečl, ivan@divus.cz, +420 602 269 888

 

UMĚLEC MAGAZINE
Palo Fabuš, umelec@divus.cz

DIVUS LONDON
Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford
London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom

news@divus.org.uk, +44 (0) 7526 902 082

 

DIVUS BERLIN
berlin@divus.cz


DIVUS WIEN
wien@divus.cz


DIVUS MEXICO CITY
mexico@divus.cz


DIVUS BARCELONA
barcelona@divus.cz

DIVUS MOSCOW & MINSK
alena@divus.cz

DIVUS NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION
Divus We Are Rising National Gallery For You! Go to Kyjov by Krásná Lípa no.37.