a room with a view in the financial district

The images of this work, made in June 2001, are talking about several months the artist spent living in the World Trade Center in New York. Invited to join other artists in setting up a studio on an empty floor as part of an artist-in-residence program, Carola Dertnig discovered a number of empty rooms during her excursions in both towers.
a room with a view in the financial district documents these discoveries in the form of frozen moments showing abandoned architectures with traces of a working environment. These pictures, shot with the photo button of a video camera, show worn or decaying relics of wired (dot.com) offices; capacious empty spaces, their ceilings, floors and walls falling apart; discarded work clothes; and the debris of meetings, lunches and coffee breaks. These images are punctuated by framed views of Manhattan and its skyline as seen through windows. Dertnig combined these clear shots, which play with the format commonly used in documentary photography, with a first-person off-camera narration.
Observations concerning economic structures and the circumstances of personal lives, artistic production and financial power, surveillance methods and empty spaces which are both mobile and available flow together in a circling dynamic. Dertnig, by relocating movement outside the images and into the editing and off-camera, shifts the act of representation between the audiovisual levels and into a many-layered performance of architectures and persons, their eloquence offering subtle opportunities for further formulation of critical views.

(Rike Frank)

Übersetzung: Steve Wilder

Orig. Title
a room with a view in the financial district
Austria, USA
5 min
Carola Dertnig
Orig. Language
Carola Dertnig
Carola Dertnig
Text Author
Carola Dertnig
Available Formats
Betacam SP (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
25 fps
Festivals (Selection)
Oberhausen - Int. Kurzfilmtage
Toronto - Worldwide Short Film Festival
Wien - Viennale - Int. Filmfestwochen
Cork - Int. Film Festival
Hongkong – Microwave Int. Media Art Festival
Austin - Cinetexas - Int. short film&video&new media festival
Rotterdam - Int. Filmfestival
Edinburgh - International Film Festival
Pesaro - Film Festival
Los Angeles - LA Freewaves
Chicago - Women in the Director's Chair
Bochumer Videofestival