Visite #1 – short demo video

2019 | 16:9 HD-Video, single channel projection, no sound, loop | 00:15:00

“Oelze also addresses the relationship between landscape and history in the video Visite # 1 (2019). The approximately fifteen-minute-long, unedited film depicts the view of a section of forest. A camera surrounded by trees swings from a horizontal position toward the ground, where the feet of a tripod are visible, then tilts over so that the forest grove turns upside down 180° and is transformed into a stalactite cave, until the lens points directly at the sky and finally returns to its starting point.

The forest seen in Visite # 1, characterized by birch stock and sandy soil, seems unspectacular at first glance. However, the area selected by Oelze is a place of particular importance in West German history: the Wendland. Protests against storing nuclear waste were held in this region of Lower Saxony in the 1970s. In 1980, the Republic of Free Wendland was proclaimed, which police evicted by force after a month. Oelze filmed on the very site where recent contemporary archaeological investigations into the protestors’ village of huts were carried out. The dense growth of the pioneering birch tree in Oelze’s film indicates that nature has gradually recaptured this terrain. The aforementioned conspicuously bright sand was also recently distributed here by the archaeologists who, after their investigative campaign, replaced the removed strata with this fill material. Evident traces of the violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement no longer exist.

As in Camp, however, visual appearances refer to a deeper historical structure that has inscribed itself below the top surface of the landscape. For the shoot, Oelze had the stand-mounted camera describe a circle-eight in space in a slow and steady motion: revealed by rays of sunlight between the trees and on the ground are shimmering, unnatural shadows that appear like ghostly silhouettes from the past, destabilizing the ground on which the camera stands.” Sven Beckstette, “Speleology of the unconscious”, in: “Wer auch immer das Interlock bricht”, 2020

The preview picture shows a montage of several viewing angles that the camera has filmed during the continous pan.