GALLERY

Trond Ansten & Benjamin Breitkopf

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2017Grand Prize

ARTIST STATEMENT

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The Arctic. At a glimpse it may all appear white. But there is many shades of whiteness. The curtain behind our metaphoric epos is the shade of polar imperialism. A non existing term that currently makes the Arctic more important than ever. Our team consists of a Norwegian-German crew, and provides a base of nordic approach to polar regions juxtaposed to continental questioning.

This film is positioned in a view from nature rather than society. It is told through a non-spoken visual language, where each scene is a performative act carefully build up as a composition itself. We are working in a language of surreal sculptural images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and historical references, much like the cosmos of Alejandro Jodorowsky. The prologue makes up the current setting where you see a human pulse encapsulated in a black plastic bag, driven by a machine that feeds on a portable petrol generator in the white landscape. Today the polar ice is decreasing. Closed transport passages are opening and new land and sea areas get exposed for fishery and establishment of oil and gas business. All Arctic neighbouring countries strive for legal recognition of larger national territories. But for how long will the pulse keep on beating?

The imagery of the film then opens to present our main protagonists, an anonymous white creature that silently guides the spectator through shades of white. Often people don't even recognise this creature and that is part of the intention. Like Andrei Tarkovsky most consciously works with texture in his films, our idea of «White» is that it blends into the scenery both visually and by act. It becomes a subconscious force that almost unnoticeable seduces the audience throughout the film.

The creature is harvesting ripe snow, while a young Sami is waiting by a desolated mountain road. The yield is taken care of by a viking woman and transformed over the open fire. This act introduces the cod that becomes the second important protagonist of this epos, if one may say that a fish is a protagonist?

Nordic and Sami settlements where based upon cod-fishery since the dawn of ages, and we intend to see the world through the eyes of fish. «Look at the magnificent strength of the cod» a Sami professor in Tromsø noted, as he saw our protagonist pulsating from a fire within the corpus, laying on a snow-bed in the mountains. And this is what the film is offering, there are fragments of stories insinuated, but they stay symbolic and it is left to the audience to make their own narration of them.

The film was shot in the region of Tromsø, Northern-Norway and most of the scenes where recorded between 23:00 and 03:00 in the night. The sun is slightly below the mountains at this time in spring, and we wanted the sphere of the special dim blue light that occurs. Working at this hours allowed us to forsake artificial lightning completely. For the audio we invited the band «As deafness increases» from Oslo to make their musical response to our images. They are much inspired from sounds of nature and use classical instruments to create contemporary expressions. We find their music to blend into our composition in a smooth way that strengthen the meditative feeling.

Working in a slow mood, offering the time to absorb the sculptures presented, we intend to challenge the audience in their perception of storytelling. Although slow, the use of symbolism is almost frightening dense and embraces your imagination. As a visual poem of still moving images. Our epos intends to work in a condition of tension, the circular nature of it suggests a possible reproportion between what we want to value, and how the world appears to operate.

Entries form: Video (27:13)

Selecting judge: Hiraki Sawa

The work was visually polished, with the quality of an artwork, and it was created with a well-defined subject in mind. In it, I saw the possibilities of how far artwork can go in the future if created with new photographic expressions and artistic expressions.

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PROFILE

Trond Ansten & Benjamin Breitkopf

Trond Ansten

b.1984, Bamble, Norway
Ansten is a visual artist and biologist based in Tromsø, educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany. With a strong passion for hunting, fishing and harvesting, his focus is on the relation between man and nature. Ansten creates films in a performative language that is build of sculptural compositions in the landscape. His films can be read as visual poems of still, moving images.

Benjamin Breitkopf

b.1986 in Donaueschingen (germany)
A director of photography in moving and still images.
Studying in Media Art at the ZKM Karlsruhe.
Working as a trained media technician in state television.
Joining a project, “anAtlas.net
Questioning the truth of images, news and media in relation to the recipients.

FILMCREW

Writer & Director: Trond Ansten
Director of Photography: Benjamin Breitkopf
Creative Producer: Alice Rombach
Sound: Elenya Bannert
Production Assistant & Bestboy: Lukas Giesler
Music: As deafness increases
Cut: Trond Ansten & Benjamin Breitkopf
Sound Mix: David Loscher
Color: Gerrit Kuge
Sfx: Manuel Weber
Typo: Béla Meiers
Title Theme: Uli Okujeni
Soundtrack Recording: Studio Brekkelyd Oslo
Soundtrack Mix: Audun Rødsten
Performers: Kåre Grundvag, Alice Rombach, Deborah Geissmann, Trond Ansten & Lukas Giesler.
Background performers: Heidi Mari Kristiansen, Ada Lindset, Tonie Nyheim, Wilde Ella Tobiassen, Erik Abri, Steve Gazelle, Lea Canzler, Cesar Dechamps-Bergen, Eivind Flittie Kleiven, Astrid Kretschmann & Jens Tørund Tyssedal

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2017Grand Prize

Trond Ansten & Benjamin Breitkopf

17 toner hvitt

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