Start > Ausstellungen > The Sting of the Scorpion. A cadavre exquis based on Luis Buñuel's L’Âge d’Or | DEUTSCH

Museum Villa Stuck Museum Villa Stuck

The Sting of the Scorpion

Artists of the exhibition, in the order of the films

1. Scorpion Scene
Tobias Zielony, born in 1973 in Wuppertal, lives and works in Berlin
Zielony has transferred the opening scene of the film to Palestine. In a room flooded in black light, various young women are busying themselves with something on a table. Their manner is concentrated and quiet. Gradually it becomes clear that the surface is crawling with scorpions – some of them moving, others dead. The young women are pushing a scorpion around bit by bit with their bare hands. Finally, the creature is seen moving backwards across the screen. Zielony’s starting point, as in previous works, is pure observation. In the course of the film, however, the perspective changes as the young women’s apparently naïve pastime of playing with scorpions becomes a matter of life and death: “It made sense to initiate and realize this project on the West Bank as there are scorpions here―but not in Germany. Furthermore, there is the project “Animating Palestine” in the locality, where young people learn to produce Stop Motion Animations. I animated two dead and one living scorpion with the help of some girls and their biology teacher.” (Tobias Zielony in an interview with art-Online)

2. Bandit Scene
Chicks on Speed (Melissa Logan, born in 1970 in Spring Valley, New York, lives and works in Hamburg, and Alex Murray-Leslie, born in 1970 in Bowral, Australia, lives and works in Barcelona)
Chicks on Speed tackle the bandit scenes for which Buñuel cast Max Ernst as the leader of the gang. In Chicks on Speed’s piece, a Girl Gang dressed in futuristic costumes roams through the Australian desert, encountering gold diggers, aborigines and kangaroos on the way. A leitmotif of Chicks on Speed’s contribution to the exhibition is the figure of the Trickster. C.G: Jung wrote, “The Trickster is a ‘cosmic’ primordial being with a divine-animalistic nature, superior to humans on account of his supernatural characteristics and yet inferior in terms of his irrationality and lack of consciousness. He is not even on a par with animals, given his dearth of instinctiveness and his clumsiness. These defects are aspects of his human nature, making him less well adapted to his environmental conditions than an animal, but capable of developing a higher level of consciousness, involving a considerable desire to learn, as the myth rightly emphasizes.” In their piece, Chicks on Speed shine the spotlight on this kind of artistry as a social alternative, and on the myth of artistic outlaws and their philosophy.

3. The Founding of the City of Rome
M+M (Marc Weis, born in 1965 in Daun, and Martin De Mattia, born in 1963 in Rheinhausen, both live and work in Munich.
Being arrested and led away is an important motif in Buñuel’s film: the loving couple in an island landscape are captured and carried off. M+M take up a similar motif in their piece, which was shot at night in complete darkness with infrared cameras. Filming took place at various urban venues, including the garden of Villa Stuck. A couple (Birgit Minichmayr and Christoph Luser) lying hidden are apprehended by two figures. M+M: “Scene of the action: perhaps Rome. A man and a woman are snatched, one after the other, flanked each time by the same two men. Policeman in civilian clothes? Propriety watchdogs? Some of the movements and impressions are reminiscent of real cases of people being seized and taken away, the capture being presented in a quasi ritualized manner in similar images. People are being constantly led away to a blaze of publicity, but only for a short time―for the cameras―from one place to the next, in some vehicle, for example. In Episode 3 being led away happens relentlessly. You have to get used to it. Being led away is a state of being.”

4. Stately Mansion
Keren Cytter, born in 1977 in Tel Aviv, lives and works in Berlin and New York
In Keren Cytter’s piece, raw brutality breaks out for the first time. The two leitmotifs, everyday violence versus utopian love, collude in an explosive alliance in Cytter’s glaringly-lit images. In a bar somewhere in the USA, a couple enter the room and conversations ensue in an apparently peaceful start to the evening. But very soon, dialogues boding no good unravel: a man flirts with the barkeeper, whispering words of desire and carnal lust to her from the bar callbox only a few meters away. Guns are drawn, jealousy fuels strife. A woman dies in the arms of a man, who holds her lifeless corpse dumbfounded and aghast. At the end, a child loses its life as in Buñuel’s film, shot in the back for no reason by its own father.

5. Garden/Park
Julian Rosefeldt, born in 1965 in Munich, lives and works in Berlin
Julian Rosefeldt takes up the narrative of L’Âge d’Or and intervenes literally: “I have inserted a section of film after Modot’s rampage in his room in the mansion and before the epilogue at the Count of Blangis’s castle. It is inspired by the feminist scene, in which Lya Lys, the protagonist’s mistress, turns her attentions to the old conductor. This is a bombshell in the film about which strangely little has been written, although―in contrast to the film’s other breaches of taboos (blasphemy, chid murder, cruelty to animals)―a specific, socially critical, emancipatory reading of it is possible, radically far ahead of its time.” Rosefeldt’s is a classical piece of film shot in black-andwhite, a social analysis conducted by means of fantastic displacements: “(In my film) Modot, having jumped out of the window and been ‘reborn’, lands in a world full of strong, self-confident women, and this is a bit too much for him. My piece also caricatures Alice Schwarzer-style feminism to a degree, the way women are reduced to their intellect and not allowed to invest their sexuality and femininity as forms of appropriate energy; in short, to be emancipated as women and not as men.”

6. De Sade
John Bock, born in 1965 in Gribbohm, lives and works in Berlin
John Bock calls his exhibition contribution Härchen mit Momsen. The participants are the maid Claire, the Marquis de Sade, a priest called Benjamin, joined by the la-la girl Lisa. In the course of three scenes, all kinds of props and fetishes appear, culminating in an orgy. The priest concludes, “All good ends up as the Pieta position.” John Bock probes the inner world of the chateau of Selligny that was to be seen in Buñuel’s film from the outside only. Inside, he discovers the old
Marquis de Sade himself, clearly still lusty as a lecherous old man on his death-bed. Bock on his piece: “My film is concerned with what is happening inside the chateau, which was indicated briefly by the Jesus figure. Most of the filming is done in my studio. Various stages and sets are erected on which puppets and actors perform. Instruments, models and diagrams also play a part. Objects substitute for people and vice versa. Strange mutation costumes are used. These quasi-me apparitions change in the course of the film. The plan is to develop the performances within the scenes as they are being filmed.” Bock replaces Buñuel’s connection between De Sade and the hypocritical Catholicism of his time with images of absolute evil and apotheosis rhetoric, pinpointing the sexualized society of our day.