Thomas Steiners moving picture works refer to a cinematic axiomthat of the optical deception of the brain. The initial material for the video work ALFERJEWOthe perplexing title identifies a place that the filmmaker visited in Russiaare innumerable snapshots of ticket counters, train platforms, people in train compartments, and passing landscapes, some of which are analogue, and some digitally manipulated.
Lined up sequentially, these photographic stills, although not offering the illusion of a fluid movement process, taken as a whole are nonetheless still in movement: The abstract graphic qualities of the electronically manipulated imagesreal things are reinterpreted as black surfaces and empty spacesfunction as restless masks in front of restless backgrounds.
Additionally, there is a second aspect of movement, that of overcoming a distance, which seems to deal with travel: While one hears the suggestive sound of the train running over cross ties, the snapshots become faster and faster, ever more thickly layered over one another, creating an acoustic and visual crescendo. The poetic finale (including fade-outs) contrasts this progression: a strange, pulsating view overlooking a broad stretch of dry grass with clouds passing overhead.
(Georg Wasner) Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
5 min 40 sec