MIA Screens is an online showcase featuring contemporary experimental films and artist moving image works with introductions by the artists who made them.
Wolfgang Lehmann introduces MEER / SEA (2004):
MEER is a black and white film that was shot with a 16mm Bolex camera, created in a collaboration of three people: my old friend Telemach Wiesinger, the Japanese composer Misato Mochizuki and myself. The Ensemble SurPlus, under the direction of James Avery, came later into the process for the musical interpretation.
The starting idea was to realize a “classical” film poem. The sea as a subject is classical in art history anyway. We wanted the film to be in the tradition of the poetic film from the classical era of avant-garde film, and in addition to the cinema version, we wanted the film to be screened also as a silent film with live music, which was also the case a few times.
Telemach Wiesinger was responsible for the camera, myself for the montage and Misato Mochizuki for the music. Misato claimed the film to be so visual that she wished that we could show the film without her music, this is the reason why the film today is available in two versions.
THE SOUND OF THE SEA is the same film but soundless, and a little shorter because we excluded the longer black parts.
The images were recorded in Autumn 2002 in Brittany and Normandy in northern France, after that, a couple of cut versions were made in 2003, which were discussed again with the composer. In 2004 the film had its world premiere with live music at the Stuttgart music festival ECLAT.
The content of the film is interpreted quite differently, depending on your own experience and relation to the sea. I myself, who have had the experience as a child of almost drowning, always have a very ambivalent attitude to the sea. I tried to create this feeling of fear on the one hand and the fascination of the beauty of the sea on the other hand, within the editing. Telemach and Misato had no such experience as far as I know.
As with almost every film that Telemach realized by himself and like almost all of my films, there is no concrete narration and the interpretation is up to the spectator. Each individual has their own subjective experiences of pictures, montages, and music.
The film is a homage to the classic film avant-garde by Germaine Dulac, Henri Chomette, Ralph Steiner and Henwar Rodakiewicz.