Peter Wächtler, Far Out, 2016
For Far Out, Peter Wächtler created a four-minute, hand-painted animation in which a solitary figure in a top hat and tailcoat saunters rhythmically on the spot as if in forward motion. We see him from behind, elbows out, in a determined march. While appearing to have some urgency about him, the landscape within which he is depicted never moves. He seems to be aiming for an eerie castle on a mountain top and yet it is clear he will never reach it. Playing over the top is an up-tempo rock ’n’ roll song written and performed by the artist himself. Wächtler’s lo-fi, self-effacing Chuck Berry style song replaces the characteristically cool confidence of the ‘American dream’ soaked era with a decidedly European indifference and pathos. The artist, struggling to keep time and tune, belts out a stream of subtitled lyrics that veer between the melancholy and the philosophical. Towards the end of the film, we see the moon behind the castle vanish in a puff of smoke. Wächtler takes these iconic pop-culture references and modes of address (the rock and roll song and Disney-esque animations, and combines them with a decidedly amateur aesthetic and unashamedly introverted subject matter, the work is in their subtle combination and idiosyncratic resonances. Watching this work on a loop, as intended, the absurdity and throwaway gesture begin to raise more pointed questions. Is this the artist walking? Are they toiling and working toward an unattainable goal? Where will these efforts deliver him? While the video may be deliberately tired in its references, the questions it poses are some of the most compelling of all.
|Medium||HD video with sound|
|Duration||4 minutes 24 seconds|
|Edition||of 6 + 1 AP|