Online catalogue / Christina Lammer :

Matters of the Heart
AT / 2016
19 min.

Matters of the Heart, a series of five, silent, black-and-white films of operations were shot with a 16mm Bolex film camera in the operating room: Heart, Stomach, Blood Flow, Vertebra, Eye/Hand. Two choreographies overlap: that of the surgeons and that of the intuitive-conceptual camera editing during the filming. The extremely concentrated material ends in several cases before the operation is over, rips open into white. Christina Lammer´s films require elaborate preparations: the artist and sociologist makes on site samples, sketches, and studies the time lapses with the digital Bolex. Together with all involved, she works out the concept and mutual trust: "The negotiation processes - not only with the patients who allow me to film their operations, but also with the entire hospital administration and the medical ethics commission - are, in fact, quite complex. I get along well with the patients. I ask for their consent, and give a detailed explanation of my intentions and how I handle the pictures. Since they are not personally recognizable in almost all of the operations, they gladly allow me to film in the operating room. I also visit the patients regularly as long as they are in the hospital. That is a part of it for me, and flows in the further film and video work intuitively or as experience. There is nothing uncomplicated about this form of film."(Ch.L.)

The skin as a linear border developed along with the bourgeois individual in the modern era; there were times when it was perceived as more permeable, as a porous mesh that is a potential opening. In Lammer´s films, hands covered in brightly colored gloves with shiny operating tools stake out the terrain, make contact with the fluids, tissues, bowels, and organs of the opened body - and unearth the "small, specific frissons" (W. Benjamin). Tactile qualities structure the gaze in this somatic contact zone. A precise cut, the pulsating movement of the hand in the depths of the body, sputtering blood, valiant gripping of an organ, threading hands, a tiny nerve - all of this in the fine, soft gray tones of the empathetic film material. (Madeleine Bernstorff)

Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

A film by:
- Christina Lammer

- Documentary

original language:
- no dialogue

Available Prints:
- 16 mm

price: 76,00 EUR


rental conditions

more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Christina Lammer