View from the Acropolis

Part 3 of Monument to Another Man’s Fatherland

35mm,16 min,  b/w, sound Dolby SR, 2008/2012

Triggered by the invitation to produce a new work for Project Art Centre in Dublin, we followed the trail of a Celtic Tiger to Berlin’s Pergamon Museum. Here, an ancient monument to the fatherland with a sculpted frieze commemorates a battle against a Celtic tribe in Asia Minor. With a proposal to reconnect this monument to its place of origin in contemporary Turkey, we approached the Pergamon Museum. However, the museum did not want to participate in an art project that addressed the fact that the monument originates from somewhere else. It was afraid “this would stir the debate on repatriation”, something they were “not interested in”.

The museum’s refusal resulted in the group of works Monument to Another Man’s Fatherland which all explore the absence of the original. The first two parts reconstruct the battle scene from images and texts that we found in books. For the third part we visited the site that the battle scene originates from. Filmed on location in black-and-white on one of the last batches Kodak Plus-X, the 35mm film explores the view from the hill, alternating between two axes of perception. Sometimes it is absorbed by absence, lingering on abundant vegetation that has overgrown debris, at other times, it follows the surrounding inertial landmass. Recorded on a windy day, clouds project shadows and trees sway their branches.

Painter and sound composer Arnout Killian interpreted the inert landmasses, shadows, wind and the swirling grain into a soundtrack created with the Nord Modular Synthesizer. The film premiered at Motive Gallery, 27th of April, 2012, and was presented at the Wavelength Program of Toronto International Film Festival 2012, Forum Expanded, Berlin Film Festival 2013, San Francisco Filmfestival 2013, New York Film Festival 2013. The soundtrack was produced with support of the Dutch Filmfund.


               TIFF Toronto filmfestival review.pdf