Statement #16 | Eva Seiler & Johanna Tinzl — Beyond Future

Film Screening and Discussion, November 30, 2021, 6 – 8 pm
Exhibition, December 1 – 23, 2021

So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
In your automatic arms
Your electronic arms
In your arms
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
Your petrochemical arms
Your military arms
In your electronic arms
Laurie Anderson, O Superman, 1982

From Detroit to the San Francisco Bay Area. From the Motor City to Silicon Valley. From our past into the future? In July 2016, shortly before Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America, Eva Seiler and Johanna Tinzl journeyed across the continent. Since then, they have been working at various intensities with the resulting film footage and will present the final cut of their video installation Beyond Future for the first time in Kunstraum Lakeside.

The two artists chose the format of a road movie for their film essay. In this genre, traveling long distances on country roads and highways is a metaphor for the quest for freedom and one’s authentic self. However, Seiler and Tinzl are not primarily interested in identity issues but in pursuit of “images of that which has not yet materialized,” as the duo puts it. “We are working on an artistic film and research project that investigates how much future is embedded in our present time, which, in turn, is subject to historical preconditions.” The United States—with its “go west” and “manifest destiny” ideals dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, its widespread faith in technology, and its juxtapositions of different lifestyles and visions of the future—offered the artists a multifaceted research field. On their road trip from the East to the West Coast, Seiler and Tinzl filmed their ride, iconic buildings, and murals that manifest historic events. They spoke with people, consulted a medium to foretell their future, and listened to pop songs. And they filmed with self-made filters printed with modern industrial architecture, historical monuments, and realized or projected office buildings of tech giants, which led to overlaps of two sites and between present, past, and future conditions. “Hence, the car not only served as a means of transportation but also as our camera dolly.”

The visual and auditory links generated in the film exemplify the artists’ proposed imaginations of the future, while the employed stylistic devices create “a fusion of real (tangible, visible, rational) phenomena and a magical reality (hallucinations, dreams)”. Their brand of “magical realism” represents “a third reality, a synthesis of our familiar realities”. In Klagenfurt the presentation of Eva Seiler and Johanna Tinzl’s film attains a new context that adds yet another layer: Situated in the Lakeside Science & Technology Park, the old and new industries of the United States, their architectures and monuments, take on a new site-specific dimension.

Eva Seiler (b. 1979 in Germany) lives and works in Vienna.

Johanna Tinzl (b. 1976 in Austria) lives and works in Vienna.
www.johannatinzl.net