SEKUNDENARBEITEN

      No Comments on SEKUNDENARBEITEN

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Christiana Perschon

grade: 8

Sekundenarbeiten is entirely shot on film. A return to the true essence of cinema. In the same way, Liselott Berschorner’s blank sheet is almost like a kind of rough diamond. A rough diamond that is about to be carved before our eyes and that, thanks to this particular process, seems to us even more precious. At the Viennale 2021.

Drawing hands

It often only takes a few seconds to create an artwork. This is the theory of 94-year-old artist Liselott Berschorner, who needs very little time to make small but precious drawings. His work, his art, his approach to beauty are, therefore, shown to us up close by the young filmmaker Christiana Perschon in her short film Sekundenarbeiten, premiered at the Viennale 2021.

The voice of the artist chatting with the director and explaining to her how he relates to a blank sheet of paper is accompanied by a totally black screen. Then, magically, creation happens. Silence. The artist smiles at the camera surrounded by some of his artwork. On a white sheet of paper, abstract shapes drawn with charcoal are about to come to life. And there, at last, is harmony.

It only takes three minutes to convey the essence of Liselott Berschorner’s art. And the director, who has always been interested in the lives and works of esteemed female artists from all over the world, knows exactly what to show the viewer, what to point her camera at, what details, what expressions, what feelings can make also her short film a little and precious artwork. Sekundenarbeiten is shot entirely on film. A return to the true essence of cinema. In the same way, Liselott Berschorner’s blank sheet of paper is almost like a rough diamond. A rough diamond that is about to be carved before our eyes and that, thanks to this particular process, seems to us even more precious.

Christiana Perschon, for her part, has opted for an essential directorial approach. Few but significant shots in which we are not allowed to hear any sound alternate with a few seconds of black screen, during which, on the contrary, we hear the artist’s voice telling us about her way of making art and how she herself has no idea what to make until the moment she finds herself in front of a blank sheet of paper. Black and white images, an intimate and relaxed atmosphere and also a touch of welcome irony make Sekundenarbeiten a sophisticated and extremely personal short film.

Halfway between a documentary and an experimental film, Sekundenarbeiten shows us a reality that we have been observing for a long time, but whose essence we finally fully understand. Thanks yes to the calm voice of Liselott Berschorner, but also – and above all – to the mature and attentive gaze of Christiane Perschon. A self-aware, sincere and self-confident gaze that proves to be close to what it wants to tell, but at the same time maintains a respectful detachment. And through the eyes – and the camera – of the director we also feel part of that world, as if we ourselves were in the artist’s workshop observing her as she gives life to new, elegant forms.

Original title: Sekundenarbeiten
Directed by: Christiana Perschon
Country/year: Austria / 2021
Running time: 14’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Christiana Perschon
Cinematography: Christiana Perschon
Produced by: Christiana Perschon

Info: the page of Sekundenarbeiten on the website of the Viennale; the page of Sekundenarbeiten on the website of sixpackfilm