© Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, Ken Jacobs, Flo Jacobs
Ulysses in the Subway by Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, Flo Jacobs, Ken Jacobs
The Conditions of Seeing
One filmmaker who addresses the conditions of perception is Ken Jacobs. What distinguishes his work Popeye Sees 3D?
SST: Ken Jacobs is the true inventor of three-dimensional cinema. Since the 1950s – using film and performance – he has explored the significance of three-dimensional vision for the cinema and the implications it has for the medium. Technological developments have now given him the opportunity to do things he has always wanted to do. Every 3D image he creates is more meaningful than many of the things we see today, because he never regards the technology as an end in itself. For him, the cinematic form can only possess relevance if it emerges from a process of working, thinking and seeing. That’s why he only ever films where he lives, in Manhattan, because the images he captures – his surroundings – are on the one hand the starting point and on the other the materialisation.
Is it possible to also rediscover narrative film through Jacob’s work?
SST: Absolutely. Narrative forms are not cast in iron, and examples like Popeye Sees 3D demonstrate how they can develop in all sorts of directions.
The installation Bawabet Yafa (Jaffa Gate) designed by Khaldun Bshara is also a special experience of perception ...
Ulrich Ziemons: The historic photographs used in this work have been divided into different levels. By zooming into the image, they shift divergently in relation to the virtual lens and create the impression of three-dimensionality. The pictures were taken around the Jaffa Gate which, following the British invasion of 1917, was remodelled according to the ideas of the new colonial masters. The tower was demolished. In the installation there is also, alongside the video, a model of the gate in its original form – complete with tower. With this work, the RIWAQ organisation is examining how memory manifests itself in architecture, how reconstruction can work and the ideological implications that rebuilding the gate in its original form would hold.