To What Effect?

In this workshop facilitated by Andreas Förester HTL students were given After Effects and simple characters that had been pre-recorded with movement and costume in a green room as tools. The students decided to explore contemporary issues in a comedic fashion
In the first of these videos by Martha and Tobias, I was told that here is a representation of the differing power structures of traditionally patriarchal society, represented through monumental symbols such as the Taj Mahal and a authoritarian official in a military style uniform.  His authority could arguably be seen as being represented by his ownership of space.  The students chose to emphasise this by using the special effect of repetition.  The students then suggested that the `made-up` woman in revealing clothes and  holding symbols of wealth and status such as the Louis Vuitton bag woman alludes to the western ideals of power that beauty and wealth will get you anywhere.  In the consumer fetishised west, everything can be bought.

In the second of the two videos HTL students Laura Nowery and Johanna Schwartz also explored symbols of power and authority through Environmental Activism.  Students highlighted aspects of attention and fame that are tied to activism, revealing the less righteous side, by positioning the photographer character as paparazzi.   This reminded me of the clever film `S1m0ne` (2002), that seemed to vanish into obscurity, probably because it clearly showed the connections between activism and lust for fame, rather than so called activists fully assessing risks to see if they are actually doing anything to help the situation, or just drawing empty attention and fame.  Here the same character used in the above video as a symbol of control and authority is used here, however, the meaning has changed as to which kind of authority he represents with the context in which the students have put him in.  Here we see a symbol of particularly Austrian control with the police cars in the background, instead of the students alluding to fundamental Islamic authority as they did in the previous video.  Furthermore students were exploring, in a darkly humorous way, issues of atomic energy in Austria that has also been a source for other artists, such as the Czech artist that stoked controversy representing Austria in the EU with an Atomic Plant.  The students are perhaps also warning us of the future, that in fact, we may not need activists to prove that extreme damage is being caused.  The proof is evident in energy disasters happening globally, symbolised here through the explosion and barren land that lays before us.

Sponsors: Land Salzburg