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on location

Two other contributors have raised the question of specificity: are Karuti's landscapes located or could they be anywhere? Is this situated knowledge or a view from nowhere? The cows, as we have seen, are clearly in a place: these are Maasai cattle in a Maasai space. But what about the lift and the aquarium? Two glass walls seen through a lens. Does it matter where these videos were made? If you've seen one of them, have you seen them all? But I wonder: body, machine - location?

I saw Tizian Büchi's prize-winning film, L’îlot (in German: Kleine Insel; in English: Like an island) when it was released a few weeks ago. The critics describe it as a hybrid, something like a documentary but not quite. And it too plays with these senses of location and dislocation, place and displacement, but it does so in some very different ways. A river running through a strip of remaining wooded land in suburban Lausanne is overlaid with sounds that might almost but don't quite belong. The main figures, two security guards whose task is quite obscure, and a couple who might be lovers from the two sides of the river or some kind of jinn, genii loci, are very much there, but also from elsewhere. This is a highly specific work: a film on location, filmed on location. Everyone and everything occupies at least two worlds, but the senses of resonance and continuity emerge from lives and landscapes which are detailed and precise.

Then I talk to a visitor who begs me not to tell her where Supersonic, the video of the lift, was made. Du würdest es verderben, wenn du es mir sagst, she says: that would spoil it.


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