Gaelle Obiegly is a film about not being able to see, and a reversal of the gaze. Friedl vom Gröller has increasingly been occupied with staging in her films. At the center of her recent works is a three-dimensional staging of interactions between various individuals whereas most of her older works focuses on the portrayed person´s face, albeit confusion and staging always played a major role here, too.
Right from the start, the film begins with a glare: a 16mm projector installed by the filmmaker to point toward the camera, outshines the picture, creating an abstract corona within which the figures are initially depicted as mere silhouettes. The scene clears again, one sees several women, their eyes bound, grouped next to the projector, another woman sits with her back to the camera and reads out loud, while the others turn their attention to her. The reader is in the flickering light of the projector, which casts her shadow on the wall behind. Despite an obvious concentration on the spoken word, the film remains silent. Gaelle Obiegly is, thereby, also a film about not hearing. In the last "act," the reading woman finally turns her face to the camera and casts, so to speak, a glance back at the viewers in the cinema; a gaze that confronts and questions our own.
Gaelle Obiegly endeavors at various cinematic paradigms: lighting, equipment, and gaze, yet nonetheless remains consciously mysterious. Friedl vom Gröller´s photographs and films are inquiries into the soul, which, as experience shows, does not surrender its riddles and facets easily and in plain language.
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
Friedl vom Gröller