Danish provocateur Lars von Trier
Earlier this week, cinema’s enfant terrible Lars von Trier announced plans for Gesamt
, an innovative user-generated film competition that challenges participants to reinterpret "some of the greatest art pieces of our time".
As one would expect the six artworks selected by the Danish filmmaker don’t shy away from controversy and include Ulysses
by Irish writer James Joyce, a classic which may now be highly regarded but it was once banned in the United States where it was considered obscene and radical; August Strindberg’s The Father
, which is described as "a striking example of a dysfunctional family"; Paul Gaugin’s painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
; French composer César Franck’s improvisations; and the music of Rat Pack singer Sammy Davis Jr.
But it is the inclusion of Hitler’s main architect Albert Speer’s Zeppelinfield
, a monument built for Nazi rallies in Nürnberg that has seen jaws drop, for the wrong reasons, again
Participants are asked to submit a short film (no longer than five minutes) inspired by one of the six artworks. Entries can be "raw and unedited, animated and polished, with audio, without audio, consist of still images, be in black and white or in colour."
Jenle Hallund, who is Lars von Trier’s script consultant and co-director of Limboland
(2010) will "pull the final strings" and choose what material to include in the final product. Depending on submissions, between one and four films will be screened on four large screens in a dark room in Kunsthal Charlottenburg.
‘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 civilisation 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.
The cinematic experiment aims to take the concept of gesamtkunstwerk
(‘the universal work of art’ or ‘synthesis of the art’) one step further by challenging a diversity and multitude of people to contribute to the work.Gesamt
, "a reflection on our time and the people who live in it: a community masterpiece" will have its world premiere on October 12. Participants have until September 6 to submit their work. The project is produced by the Copenhagen Art Festival.
For more information please visit Gesamt's competition page