Lars von Trier Gesamt: A ‘challenge’ and an ‘invitation’ to ‘the people’
Lars von Trier has issued "an open invitation to people around the globe," reads a press release from Danish Agency for Culture. That "open invitation" is represented by the Copenhagen Art Festival’s film project Gesamt; von Trier is asking individuals worldwide "to reinterpret six great works of art through the lens of their camera or recording of sound." Five of those "great works of art" are European (see below); one, Sammy Davis Jr, is an American.
Jenle Hallund, a script consultant in von Trier’s Melancholia and the director of the 2011 Zentropa short You Are Beautiful, will have the task of "put[ting] it all together in the end."
In the release, Hallund is quoted as saying: "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 civilization by exposing its soul. Together we can try and create a cacophonous testimony of the human condition’s 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?"
The Gesamt rules are as follows:
"Participants may shoot up to five minutes of material, do so several times, and send their material to Gesamt before September 6, 2012. Technical skills are not the biggest priority — originality and enthusiasm are much more important."
"Everyone who wishes to participate can draw inspiration from one or several of the selected six art pieces: James Joyce’s work Ulysses, which once was banned in the United States because it was seen as obscene and lewd. Or one can be inspired by August Strindberg’s famous play The Father, which still stands as a striking example of a dysfunctional family.
"Then there is the somewhat more controversial monument the Zeppelinfield in Nuremberg, created by Hitler’s main architect Albert Speer. You can also choose the painting "Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?" by the French painter Paul Gauguin, or you can listen and interpret the French composer César Franck’s improvisations. And then, last but not least, you may choose to be inspired by Sammy Davis Jr., who stepped himself into the hearts of people through song." [Lars von Trier no stranger to controversy, Lars von Trier Antichrist analysis.]
Gesamt: ‘synthesis of the art’
In sum: "The concept gesamtkunstwerk can be explained as ‘the universal work of art’ or ‘synthesis of the art.’ It refers to a piece of art that has been made up of many different types of art. Film is one of the only types of media which can accommodate several types of art forms at once."
Gesamt will premiere on October 12, 2012, at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.
Participants can submit their efforts between August 6 and September 6, 2012. "Early submissions are greatly appreciated." For further information contact: Niels Jarler, Head of Communications, Copenhagen Art Festival, P: +45 26 11 89 97, E: email@example.com, or Nadia Claudi, Producer Gesamt, P: +45 26 11 89 98, E: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit: www.gesamt.org.
Lars von Trier picture: Jan Buss, courtesy of the Danish Agency for Culture.