The video follows a group of shut-away hobbyists who, under the leadership of a tyrant, submit to ongoing work on their miserable creations. The occasional grunting represents the alienation and powerlessness of these human pawns. They are played by nonprofessional actors, extended family members and even people culled from a local pub, whom the filmmakers place in banal but claustrophobic spaces with almost all indication of time and place effaced.

 

'Der Schlamm von Branst' takes place within the mundane confines of an activity center where a cast of characters are spending their time making clay sculptures. The sculptures, which could be considered here as manifestations from the depths of male sublimation, are attempts to create representations of such things as a horse’s head, the human body, and human faces, all of which appear amateurish and mildly phallic. Like other works by de Gruyter & Thys, strange ghostly masculine apparitions occur, bringing the parallel world into simultaneous view with reality. Again, the scenario operates on a level that is pre-verbal, and a single woman sits whimpering, holding a block of clay to her stomach.

 

The film was screened or exhibited at:

 

  • To be continued

Credits:

 

  • Courtesy of the artists; Galerie Dependance, Brussels; Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin