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ZOOM – on moving images and audiovisual arts


2003, min., color, sound

2003, min., color, sound

Direction and camera: Urs Domingo Gnad
Performer: Michael Böhm
Sound: Benjamin Arcioli
Assistance: Roman Rösler, Reto Gnad

Advisor: Prof. Hans Beller

A Man. A Ball. And Snow.

Urs Domingo Gnad’s short film plays with the simplicity of the camera shot: we see only that which takes place in the established pictorial space—at first. Walking across a snowy field, the protagonist steps into the picture and out again—at first. 

A man throws a ball that he has picked up off the ground by chance. He leaves the camera’s field of view. After a short time he returns from the other side. Presumably he has run around the camera in a circle. Irritatingly but at the same time somehow logically the ball that was thrown also returns. (Though why not a snowball?) It is a game with oneself, a one-man game, an ego trip, as the title of the piece also gives away.

Though a suspicion begins to arise that the man is not alone, that he has a doppelgänger located outside of the camera’s view. But why then does the protagonist run out of the picture and come back again, like the ball? It is strange but at the same time logical.

The film suggests the actual movement: chronologically, the movement of the ball and the circling of the camera adhere to reality. What isn’t there is the second person; though essential to the action, they are effectively erased. But soon the situation seems to be resolved and even more surprisingly—the camera also begins to move as the man starts his third go-round. Same procedure, same person, same movement. Pushing himself to the limit the man catches and throws and catches and throws the ball, until exhaustion sets in, bringing the action to an end. Exactly as randomly as it started it finishes. The protagonist, the one protagonist, drops the ball and moves out of the picture, leaving the view of the landscape and the snow.

Again, simply: A man. A ball. And snow.

Text — Karin Lingnau

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About ZOOM

ZOOM – on moving images and audiovisual arts, is a virtual site for artistic audiovisual projects and productions from the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne. Artistically diverse positions are regularly selected and made accessible to the wider public on the Internet.

The programmatic focus is on short audiovisual forms with original artistic perspectives and great sensitivity for the subject matter. Included are abstract visual experiments, documentary formats, found-footage films, and performance videos, as well as non-narrative music videos and 3-D or stop-motion animation.

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