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Isabell Heimerdinger
Interiors (Heimerdinger, Isabell), 1997American Psycho (Heimerdinger, Isabell)Terri Watching Gloria again (Heimerdinger, Isabell)
Alice (Heimerdinger, Isabell), 2000


The series «Interiors» (1997 – 2000) was created in Los Angeles. There I planned to photograph working filmsets, but could only gain access to films that already existed. Removing the actors from the images through digital retouching first allowed me an unobstructed view of the spaces. The series was completed over a long period of time and composed of three groups. I call the first group «American Psycho»: for this I used films by Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch that exist on a highly psychological plain. In the second group are Japanese films by Ozu, from the 1950s and 1960s; here the spaces are designed altogether differently and very theatrical. The third group, «Italian Horror,» shows spaces used in Dario Argento’s horror movies of the 1970s, and in several of these images the shadows of the removed figures are visible.

The one-and-a-half-hour long film «Terri Watching Gloria Again» (1999) is composed of a single camera shot: one sees the actress Terri Phillips sitting on a sofa and watching «Gloria,» her favorite film by John Cassavetes. Terri’s dream of stardom brings her to L.A. as a young woman. In my video, she gives in again to her wish to become


an actress. At times she recites passages of dialogue or makes gestures. In the end, she cries. Her crying is very important for me, and also for the later works: there being no way of telling if she really cries or whether the crying is a part of her performance. For my next video work, «Alice» (2000), I casted Rudiger Vogler, who watches himself play the young man in Wim Wender’s film «Alice in den Städten». «Alice» was so installed that one saw Vogler in a projection on one side of the space while facing this, at the opposite end, the film «Alice in den Städten» ran simultaneously on a TV screen. The viewer stood in the middle and had to decide which film to watch. Vogler’s reactions were highly minimized; he was aware of my camera and the viewer’s gaze at every moment. At the same time, I also filmed Yella Rottländer, the actress who plays the little girl, Alice. She watches the film with her two sons. What I showed, however, was only a photograph that captures the family in the moment when the sons and their mother recognize themselves on the screen. A third video, «I was Andy Warhol’s Dracula,» uses the same principle. It shows Udo Kier viewing his first feature-length film, a production by Paul Morrissey (1974).

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