“Als sie ertrunken war und hinunter schwamm von den Bächen in die größeren Flüsse" ["Once she had drowned and started her slow descent / Down the streams to where the great rivers broaden.”] In her touching, untrained voice, the filmmaker sings this Brecht/Weill song from the 1920s. No atmosphere, this song is happening in a different space. Plants on the shore, swayed by flowing water. The hand of the person filming holding the title ERTRUNKEN DROWNED. Friedl vom Gröller consistently crosses over the invisible wall between person recording and object/subject being filmed. Gestural. What connection, what dialogue materializes here during the filming, what acts of self-assurance, shared rhythm; what solution?
The water is rapid, quickly becoming dangerous. Someone is floating there. A form, carried by the water, just as brief and momentary as the song’s detailed telling of the duration of decay. The water’s plasticity, a glimmering on the edge. The foam on the water forms moiré patterns, in movement and dissolution, while the song turns more and more to the body’s decomposition. Foam and fermentation, organic micro- and macrostructures, enzymatic processes. To speak of transience would be euphemistic. The (un)touchable unity of the body, inside and out. Materially and metaphysically. In the end, Friedl vom Gröller appears in the final credits, her visage under water. (Madeleine Bernstorff)
Friedl vom Gröller