In Sicherheit (safe)

3 channel video, DV PAL, 21:40, 2010

At the centre of the work is the pocket between the River Spree, the Chancellery and the House of World Cultures in the heart of Berlin – a cross between promenade, park, pleasure area and maximum security unit under almost constant video surveillance.


This circumstance appears to have no effect on the day-trippers, pedestrians and tourists who make use of the area. The camera moves along the embankment promenade in melancholy silence: past joggers, strollers and families, concrete walls, manicured greenery and landing stages; but also past objects that seem strangely peripheral, such as an empty park bench, a container or impenetrable undergrowth.


These things seem not to fit in, similar to some of the pedestrians, whose actions appear to be out of keeping with the general Sundayness. This also begs the question of how authentic the images are, of how genuine the documentation is.


Taking up on his previous video work TANGENZIALE, Jens Lüstraeten extends his method of combining tracking shots with static long shots to give a fragmented description of a particular place.


Apart from switching from moving camera to static images, a key element of the installation is the interplay of angles and perspectives. While some shots almost deliberately show perspectives of the cameras visible in other images, shots of unclear origin are blended into the image flow. The question is whose image the viewer is being shown.


The banality of what is visible contradicts expectations.


Charged by the title, the awareness of how volatile the place is and collective image/media memory, viewers are forced to rely on themselves to decide what they really see and what takes place in their minds.

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