The filmmaker and installation artist Andreas Bunte produced films specifically for the Sculpture Projects Münster 2017 and made them accessible via posters distributed in Münster’s urban space. The posters are now put up in the frame of the VIDEONALE.17 exhibition. The prominently positioned QR codes they bear allow digitally accessing the twelve works of the film series Laboratory Life via smartphone. The series audiovisually draws the viewers into a lab-like environment that in an extremely objective manner interlaces images and sounds.
What at first sight may appear strange and difficult to identify, not least due to Bunte’s frameless close-ups and picture details, can soon be recognized as daily and indeed familiar objects: sponges, fitness devices and plastic bags, windshields, contact lenses and salad cutlery, all put to a variety of tests in a sterile setting. These and many more objects of daily use repeatedly run through similar movement patterns that only serve testing purposes. Even the recurring ›human‹ components such as skin, hair, and flesh apparently serve merely to underscore the mise-en-scène and trigger a feeling of maximum alienation. What one sees is really no longer a human hair, and even an eye turns into a foreign object. The border between man and machine seems to dissolve, since some of the tests are conducted manually, others by robots.
Bunte’s work raises direct questions as to the protagonists of scientific film recordings and the neutrality of scientific settings. His interest in laboratory environments as film sets originates from his research at the Institut für den Wissenschaftlichen Film (Institute for Scientific Film) in Göttingen, Germany. But it is unclear what function the sequences that were filmed here have, and the question of how authentic the test situation is also remains unanswered. The objectivity of the choreographic movements, colorful objects, and distinct machine sounds conveys calmness, thus forming an antithesis to the hustle and bustle of city life in which the viewers are situated. (Riccarda Hessling)
* We can only show three of twelve films of this work in the online archive. For the complete version, please contact the artist.