Degree Dissertation in Visual Communications from Hristina Vardeva
Hochschule für Bildene Künste Hamburg 2012
Before I started working on my flm “ In the middle of the Desert” I had a vague idea of about deserts and their signifcance as cinematographic landscapes. With the typical naivety of a beginner, I was simply trying to imagine what kind of space would be able to visually express the existing alienation and emptiness in the todays ́ society. I thought of it not as a modern phenomenon but as normality that accompanies our daily life. I read that some people, who were chronically sufering from depression and melancholy, often depicted their state as an disorientated walk through a barren landscape. It is not only the sick imagination that makes the desert appear but the “reality of absence” that surounds us. Te modern urban surrounding is a gigantic labyrinth of sounds, walls and streets, in which people move and behave like machines. Tis modern life with its psychological, ecological and economical facets, has devastating impacts over people ́s imagination. What is thought to be an individual disability to adapt, is for me a clear sign of a modern disease, deeply-rooted in the fear from the inevitable end of human progress. From the moment in which we realize that democracy, global wealthiness and freedom are just an illusion, in which our parents desperately believed, we become children without future. In the era of modern apocalypse, we all witness how human lives, dreams and desires disappear, but we shrink with shoulders and continue, as if we know- this story was already written. So isn ́t this world without any meaning and dreams as empty, inhuman and hostile as the desert itself ? Is the desert a visual relict of the end of human civilization or the image of one new beginning?
In my flm “In the middle of the Desert” I don`t try to fnd answers, I just point out a way out of the general disorientation and show the reality that surrounds me. In this essay I don`t try to make general conclusions about the relation between
In the modern civilization deserts represents anti-spheres, opposed against the normality, against the logically explainable events or answerable through science phenomena. Tey are a places, where every moment something can appear and disappear, where the modern civilization does not have control and thus loses its superiority over life. Like a white piece of paper on which one could draw, the blank barren landscapes encourage the explosion of phantasies that go far beyond the dream- like illusion. As a ground zero, from which nations were built and identities have been grown, the empty desert suddenly hosts flm characters and encourages them to start a dialogue with their inner and think about the meaning of their lives. Under this groundlessness of the desert the reflexion about existential questions appears almost automatically. Te lonely fgure of wanderer in the desert is a metaphor used in many flms to illustrate the disorientation and estrangement in the modern civilization. Trough the medium of flm the desert becomes a world of poetic phantasies and political utopias, a new beginning and an inevitable end.
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