Goltzius and the Pelican Company tells the story of Hendrik Goltzius, a late 16th century Dutch printer and engraver of erotic prints. A contemporary of Rembrandt and, indeed, more celebrated during his life, Goltzius seduces the Margrave of Alsace into paying for a printing press to make and publish illustrated books. In return, he promises him an extraordinary book of pictures illustrating the Old Testament’s biblical stories. Erotic tales of Lot and his daughters, David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah and John the Baptist and Salome. To tempt the Margrave further, Goltzius and his printing company will offer to perform dramatisations of these erotic stories for his court.
The starting point was the film Teorema by Pasolini, which criticizes bourgeois society’s self-indulgence in stark contrast with social reality. My idea was to make a current version in animation. I tried to make a version about desire as the mechanism of current capitalism; this “other” is not a friend or a familiar who arrives and leaves, it is someone who is paid, used and destroyed for the family, so the family has to create an uneven relationship with its environment so that its desire is possible.
For the animation I take the cartoon style adopted by both sides in the 50s during the Cold War, which was used at the time to spread the word of their respective ideologies. I was interested in their naiveness and I wanted to contrast them with an actual perspective, much more crude.
The project “The proll thing” comprises an animated video on two screens, and a video recorded with a handy phone.
My starting point was the Kino International restaurant in East Berlin. This building’s current “image policy” prohibits taking photographs inside of it (although it is open to the public during film screenings). I thought about animation as the medium to depict the inside of the building, since it would be possible to recreate the interior in such a way as to mix reality and fiction. To make this setting, I integrated different elements, some of them real, others imaginary, creating new situations.
The drawings for the video’s sets were based on a series of postcards which are sold as souvenirs at the entrance to the cinema. I was interested in the relationship between my own experience (looking in from an outside entrance to the building, from which I could see the tables closest to its picture windows) and the visual information contained in the postcards.
Now, what is happening in a city like Berlin is that the recent past maintains a presence through many symbols (the monuments to Russians fallen in World War II, the telecommunications tower, the wide boulevards) I am interest in the moment, right now, when these symbols’ usages are changing very quickly. The old Café Moskau, where the communist elite used to pamper itself, is now a gay disco; the old Palace of the Republic, used for skateboard competitions.
Although at first, these where spaces created to establish doctrines, today, with the rapid adjustment of these uses and symbols, they are producing new meanings, maintaining their nature as social places, for meeting or exchange.