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Review: Visibility of Interim (2007)

Director: | 14 minutes | , short

Anyone who writes a review of the Austrian art film “Visibility of Interim” will have to do their very best to clarify what that film entails exactly. We see an inky black background, against which white geometric figures emerge that develop into complex architectural constructions. Sometimes those figures vibrate, sometimes they seem a bit veiled. The constructions keep fading to make way for the next figures and buildings. This architectural choreography is musically supported by electronic sounds that seem to fit wonderfully into the whole.

To produce this film, Austrian artist Manuel Knapp used software commonly used by architects. Besides German expressionism, the Italian visual artist Giovanni Piranesi was a source of inspiration. The latter influence is somewhat easier to trace than the former. Piranesi made a series of etchings called Carceri (prisons) in the mid-18th century. Just like ‘Visibility of Interim’, this series consists of complicated and colossal architectural constructions, in which you as a viewer can get lost. Piranesi’s etchings are, however, much more concrete than Knapp’s somewhat abstract structures.

In any case, the Austrian artist does not make things easy for the viewer with this cinematic museum piece. Used to a clear target point, the viewer is confronted with lines that move extremely slowly but that are spread over the entire screen. As a result, the developments can only partially be followed. Moreover, the recognizable shapes only remain on the screen for a few seconds, and then make way for new constructions.

Ultimately what the viewer has to do is get lost in this ingenious game of construction and demolition. Those who have turned their mind off and surrendered to the images will find that “Visibility of Interim” is able to evoke a meditative mood in which associations are as inescapable as the movements on the screen. That does mean that this film will be the height of boredom for some and a fourteen-minute creative trip for others.

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