Mock Operation

2004 | 4:3 PAL, 4 channels on monitors, stereo, loop | 00:19:00
The video installation is built of four successively filmed camera movements across a bunker area. The recordings were then digitally synchronized and slowed down. Then they were split to be presented on four monitors. In the split screen, the four individual parts are either joined to form the view of one camera or they are separated temporarily in different views of the same scenery that originate from multiple camera recordings.
The wide terrain that during the second world war was one of the places of the liberation of Europe by the allies, serves today as a well visited tourist attraction. The site was left after the war in it ́s bombed out condition. Now it is overgrown with grass and two walking ways lead through it. The landscape for itself is timeless. It is characterized by features that we can see again in today ́s wars: mine fields, barbed wire, bunkers. Current battlefields can be imagined to look one day like this. Solely the visitors of today can be recognized as europeans of the 21st century. They move in functionless leisure time and uniformed leisure clothing through the former extremely functional war location. Standing at the edge of the bomb craters they try to imagine what happened. The persons to be seen today in this landscape reflect in peace times what is obvious during the war, namely the insignificance of humans in wartime events. As they visit the “Unort” today they seem to represent the dead.
The spatially – temporal consistency of the scenery disintegrates as individual elements of the split screen even run backwards temporarily. The four screens form a superficial time flow that is cohered by the movement of the camera from left to right. As the persons arise on the stage-like scenery, they sometimes lose their abdomen or disappear in void. The splitscreen underlines the absurdity in the scenery and also refers to an imagery level. One meaning of the title of the work is the military term for a simulated attack.