Storyteller (2013)

Text by Christian Maccotta

(in celebration of „Boutographies #15, Montpellier, France 2015, translated from french

by Peter Vass)

"Mario Brand's images look towards us, like a myriad of startled eyes, but see nothing. We look at them and see an eclipse, a black hole, a void. From the infinitely distant cosmos to the immediate close-up – pupils and iris – what he shows us is the unseeing mirror of our immense desire for the image, this optical urge that draws us.

 Cinema and photography are the two disciplines where this urge is satisfied, where everything is laid out for us. The marks and scratches which criss-cross these film bobbins are effectively the only tangible proof that images were once present here, as a double loss has taken place: that of traditional film, which no longer turns on these surfaces, and that of the whole traditional process of cinema projection.

 In their place we have digital images which are no longer the physical and chemical presence of light, nor the continuity of the visual world by other means, but the product of sophisticated calculating machines.

 Mario Brand puts together here what at first glance might look like a repetition of the same, but at closer inspection reveals the addition of tiny differences, which is one way of reminding us of the beauty of imperfection."



Die Fotografien zeigen Filmteller die 14 Jahre lang in einem Multiplex-Kino im analogen Filmbetrieb benutzt wurden.

 Im April 2013 wurden die traditionellen 35mm-Projektoren, und mit ihnen die Teller, ausgebaut und durch digitale Projektoren ersetzt. Der Betrieb erfolgt jetzt weitgehend ferngesteuert, externe Dienstleister liefern die Vorprogramme und die digitalen Filme werden von Servern abgespielt.

 Die Filmvorführer-/innen wurden entlassen.

Auf den Filmtellern sind die Spuren der Vorführer-/innen und die Patina der analogen Filme zu sehen. Es sind einzigartige und individuelle Merkmale von handgemachter Arbeit und physisch vorhandenem Material.

This is a series of pictures of so-called filmplates which were used for 14 years in a big Multiplex-Cinema until March of 2013. These plates transported the analogue 35mm-Film by rotation to the filmprojectors which are not in use there anymore. Although it is just a few years ago, these objects look archaic.

 What we see on these pictures are the scratches made by the projectionists who worked there and showed thousands of films. We also see the patina which was left by all these films.

 All of that is gone. The plates, the films and even the projectionists were replaced by an all-digital workflow which leaves no traces at all.

 For me, it shows the uniqueness and beauty of handmade work and the traces left by this work and by the physically existing films.