World Trade Center, Uno, Pentagon (1997)
WTC, UNO, PENTAGON (1997)
In a short film trilogy created in 1996 during a stay in the United States, Korpys/Löffler deal with those sites where the strings of political, financial, and military power are being pulled, concealed or openly, and on a global scale: the World Trade Center, the United Nations, and the Pentagon (all 1997). The films were made only a few years before two of these three locations were the target of serious terrorist attacks. The three works, shot with a Super 8 camera and underpinned by proto-electronic music, pick up on elements of Hollywood films that the two artists watched in their youth: The everyday comings and goings of the employees who worked in these buildings gave the impression that “these people were living on a film set”, as Korpys puts it. The footage from the World Trade Center is reminiscent of those scenes in spy films, in which a trap has been set, and the camera zooms in on individuals, seemingly uninvolved passers-by, to suggest that they may be secret agents. The scenes are charged with suspense: A woman in a trench coat suddenly looks suspicious, men in suits seem to goose-step, someone pushes a stroller past a trash can, which appears again and again in the film. In Pentagon and United Nations, the tension is even more noticeable. You can see the arrival of helicopters and car escorts at security checkpoints. The artist’s camera occasionally scans the environment, as if looking for something or as if to prepare a burglary – long shots of ventilation grills, pacing guards, the opening of a guarded gate. Looking back, the movies seem even more spooky than the artists ever intended.
Related ProjectDisruptions, Interruptions, Misruptions
In their artistic-documentary projects the duo Korpys/Löffler (Andree Korpys and Markus Löffler) use the methods of the modern surveillance state and reflect it back onto the state itself, focusing on its mechanisms and structures of power represented by institutions like the UN, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the BND (Federal Intelligence Service), the European Central Bank, prisons, or the police.
Despite these highly charged subject matters, their films remain non-judgmental and objective and don’t engage in investigative journalism. Instead, the aesthetics of peripheral events, secondary characters, and details are their focus of attention.
Recent exhibitions include: Personen Institutionen Objekte Sachen, Kunstverein Braunschweig (2018), Hartware Medienkunstverein Dortmund (2018), Kunsthalle Tübingen (2017); Images of Surveillance, Goethe Institut New York (2016); L’image Volée, Fondazione Prada, Milano (2016); and the IX. Berlin Biennale amongst many others.