Fünf Skulpturen aus den ägyptischen Heiligtümern im Museo del Sannio, Benevento: n. 252 Hockender Pavian, Diorit; n. 253 Falke, Amphibolit; n. 255 Falke, Gabbro; n. 256 Hockender Pavian, Diorit; n. 280 Apsis-Stier, Diorit
Discourses of filmic aesthetics, art, and cultural history constitute the points of reference for Hannes Böck’s formally reduced 16 mm films and photographic series. Extensive research and trips to places like China, Mexico, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands precede the creation of the works proper. The selection of these sites already suggests an interest in postcolonial issues. His most recent film, Las Encantadas (2012), is based on a fragmentary novel by Herman Melville in which we may overhear a critique of Spain’s colonial policies as well as the natural sciences. Böck’s screenplay replaces the protagonist of one episode, an indigenous female Robinson Crusoe-like character, with a Mexican actress, yet she remains absent in the film, appearing only in the associated photographic series, which shows the set where a telenovela is being shot. The film, which consists of twelve details of natural sceneries shot with a static camera, might be an extract from the preparatory phase before a shooting; it may equally well be read as a landscape study or as a critical examination of the depiction of landscapes. At first glance, the 16 mm film Niches Cut into Bedrock at Sacsayhuamán, Cusco and Inca Stone Quarry at Cachicata, Ollantaytambo (2011) might be a structuralist study of form, if the place names in the title did not refer to the culture of the Inca, raising issues such as emancipation and autonomy in the post-colonial context. New Hefei (2007/2008) points up the degree to which media images shape our collective visual memory and sometimes become the benchmark by which we assess our perception of reality. The film focuses on the construction boom in the prosperous Chinese provincial capital of Hefei fueled by the Chinese economic miracle. By adopting the visual language of Italian (post-)neo-realism, and of Antonioni’s La Notte more particularly, Böck deliberately constructs a parallelism between Hefei and the new buildings that went up during the Italian economic miracle after World War II, pointing to an aspect of global capitalism: there are specific and, it appears, globally uniform urban structures that reflect rapid economic development. On the level of filmic technique, the actors and the site trade their functions: only at the end of the film do we realize that the person who seemed to be its protagonist led us to the filming spots, and that the latter do not serve as backdrops to the action, as is conventional.
Böck is creating a new film installation for his solo show in the Grafisches Kabinett.
Hannes Böck, born in Vienna in 1974, lives and works in Vienna.
The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.