Corinna Schnitt (b. 1964)

Das Schlafende Mädchen / Corinna Schnitt (2001, 9:00)

A sailing boat is cruising into the wind. The camera detaches itself from the scenery to enlarge the field of vision and pans over a suburb tinged in faded light: a still life of white fences, all absolutely identical, little green lawns and red gabled roofs -- just as much models as the miniature schooner. The tranquil progress of the camera over the raster of stereotyped detached and terrace houses presents an artificial idyll dominated by exclusions and norms. Life is only lived here on the soundtrack: wind, bird calls, the sound of a motor muttering in the distance, the noise made by a piece of wheeled luggage being dragged, then a telephone interminably ringing. An answering machine comes into play. An insurance broker asks to be called back in order to dscuss 'Ms Schnitt's' old-age provisions -- only to make a point of reminding her that a ballpoint pen must be returned. The unsure voice off switches the situation to absurdity: the writing utensil has become a fetish seemingly linked to identity and power. In the meantime the camera eye lights on a terrace door opening into a living room and focuses on a painting: Jan Vermeer's 'A Girl Asleep' (1657). The picture, which looks bacchantic indeed in these dead surroundings, exposes the normed, typical notions of life for what they are: cliché-ridden and phantasmagorical alike and succinctly closes the circle leading to the opening sequence.

This Film is Part of the collection (2006)