By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Lars Von Trier Challenges the People

Lars Von Trier Challenges the People

Gesamt – an open invitation to people around the globe

What happens when a master challenges the people? Danish cinema’s most famous film director is asking people around the globe to reinterpret six great works of art through the lens of their camera or recording of sound. It is the master himself, Lars von Trier, who has set the rules of this groundbreaking, user-generated film project Gesamt. But it’s you, me and everyone else who are asked to create the material, while the director Jenle Hallund puts it all together in the end. What is the result when people reinterpret the great and controversial art pieces of our time? Is it for everyone to make art? What is art? And do we stand out the most when we stand together?

Gesamt is both a provocation and an invitation. By bringing together material from people around the world, we have the opportunity to create a film that has the potential to push the limits of what art is, can and should be. A film that examines what happens when we interact with each other and the space around us.

Participants may shoot up to five minutes of material, do so several times, and send their material to Gesamt before September 6, 2012. Technical skills are not the biggest priority – originality and enthusiasm are much more important. Selected material will be put together into a larger whole by the Danish film director Jenle Hallund. She has previously collaborated with Lars von Trier, and in 2011 she won a Danish film award Robert for the Long fiction / Animation film of the Year as co-director for the film Limbo Land.

“This project is interesting because it is based on ordinary people’s creativity and imagination. Therefore It has the potential to reveal the health of a civilization by exposing its soul. Together we can try and create a cacophonous testimony of the human conditions greater purpose than power and profit.. When these great works are filtered through the body and mind, what do we end up with? Regimentation or revolution? Bigotry or innovation?” asks Jenle Hallund.

Where do we come from?
Everyone who wishes to participate can draw inspiration from one or several of the selected six art pieces: James Joyce’s work Ulysses, which once was banned in the United States because it was seen as obscene and lewd. Or one can be inspired by August Strindberg’s famous play The Father, which still stands as a striking example of a dysfunctional family. Then there is the somewhat more controversial monument the Zeppelinfield in Nuremberg, created by Hitler’s main architect Albert Speer. You can also choose the painting Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? by the French painter Paul Gauguin, or you can listen and interpret the French composer César Franck’s improvisations. And then, last but not least, you may choose to be inspired by Sammy Davis Jr., who stepped himself into the hearts of people through song.

A community masterpiece
The concept gesamtkunstwerk can be explained as ‘the universal work of art’ or ‘synthesis of the art’. It refers to a piece of art that has been made up of many different types of art. Film is one of the only types of media which can accommodate several types of art forms at once. By using the idea of Gesamt in a user-generated film project we are taking the concept one step further: A universal work of art is not only created by many different art forms but also by a diversity and multitude of people.

An experiment
What the result of Gesamt will be, no one knows – yet. There is no script, just a cinematic experiment that gradually comes to life by people, thoughts, images and sound that merge into each other and form new meanings and constellations. The final work, which will premiere on October 12.2012, is a reflection on our time and the people who live in it: a community masterpiece.

Important dates:
Participants can submit: August 6. – September 6. 2012
Note: Early submissions are greatly appreciated.

Gesamt will premiere: October 12. 2012 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.

Gesamt is produced by the Copenhagen Art Festival. Copenhagen Art Festival is an international festival of contemporary art organized by Charlottenborg, Nikolaj Kunsthal, The Free Exhibition Hall, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art and the Art Association GL STRAND in collaboration with the festival secretariat. The festival opens 24th of August and continues throughout the fall.

For further information contact:
Niels Jarler, Head of Communication, Copenhagen Art Festival, P: +45 26 11 89 97, E: nj@cph-artfestival.org
Nadia Claudi, Producer Gesamt, P: +45 26 11 89 98, E: nc@cph-artfestival.org

Please visit: www.gesamt.org
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Media partners:
S-more (DSB) and Commute Media

Thank you
Writer/translator Sven Holm, translator/consultant Flannery Miller (globalvideoletters.og), Program editor at Cinemateket/The Danish Film Institute (DFI) Rasmus Brendstrup, Head of the Film Workshop (DFI) Prami Larsen, Stockholm University, Litteraturbanken,se, violinist Regino Madrid and Washington Musica Viva

Cultural Partnerships
The Danish Film Institute, DAC The Danish Architecture Centre, Loppen, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, SNYK, The Factory of Art and Design, and ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

Public contributors
The Danish Arts Council, The City of Copenhagen – The Culture and Leisure Committee, The Capital Region of Denmark and the Ministry of Culture Denmark

Official partners and contributors
Nordea-fonden, the Obel Family Foundation, the Danish Art Workshops, the Pools and Lottery Funds of the Danish Ministry of Children and Education, Skoletjenesten, Nordplus, Nykredit Foundation, the George Jorck and Emma Jorck Foundation, Nordic Culture Point, Creative Scotland, Wonderful Copenhagen, the Beckett Foundation, the International Press Initiative Denmark, the Danish Composers’ Society’s Production Pool and KODA’s Fund for Social and Cultural Purposes, Ellen og Knud Dalhoff Larsens Fond, Metroselskabet Byens Hegn, FRAME Visual Arts Finland, S.C. Van Fonden, Knud Højgaards Fond, Billedhuggeren Gerhard Hennings Legat, CPH AIR Copenhagen Artist in Residency, Goethe-Institut Denmark, British Council Denmark, Institut Français Denmark, The Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark, The Danish Cultural Institute/Benelux, Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Copenaghen, EUNIC European Union National Institutes for Culture, Embassy of Brazil in Copenhagen, Embassy of Mexico in Denmark, The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Copenhagen, Swedish Embassy in Copenhagen.

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé