69 Video
"69" Video 85 min 2001
The Film 69 uses images from a film of MadMax with Mel Gibson, overlaid by a soundtrack which Jörg Wagner produced himself. Visual information and acoustic information are alien to each other. During the film`s one and a half hours duration, someone tells his story: Günther, a prospectal for opals and a painter, reports on his exciting travels. As one of the first german hippies, with Kerouac`s Book On the Road in his pocket, in 1965 he set off to treck across the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Ceylon, Indonesia and Malaysia, using diverse means of transport to finally arrive in Australia. He has lived in Coober Pedy, right in the centre of the Australian continent since 1969.

At the beginning of the eighties, an episode of Mad Max was filmed there, and Günther took on a role as an extra. This genre film - set in a post-catastroph desert landscape, with its rapid camera work and sharp film cuts, with its stereotype figures and narrative forms - is made into a collage together with Günther`s personal story of an individual search for adventure, freedom and happiness. The mythological is conveyed on both sides. But far more than common features, the divergent aspects are evident: the different speeds of film and personal narrative, the perfect, but cliché-ridden, dramatic waves of tension on the one hand and the faltering narrative in a Swabian accent, serching in recollections, on the other. Sound and image live their own seperate lives. It is difficult to be equally aware of both. A deep rift opens up between the two, and the viewers self-reflexive perception find its place within this.

Building on earlier works, a corresponding projection situation is part of the film about Günther`s life as it was reflected in the stereotype genre film: 69 is projected in a cave-like ambience. There is an obvious assosiation with Plato`s cave as the original setting of the cinema. The one-person cinema built by Jörg Wagner redoubles the dialectics between unlimited freedom and individual isolation reflected in Günther`s life.

Eva Schmidt in "Ohne Zögern/Without Hesitation" Die Sammlung Olbricht Teil2 Catalogue published by Neues Museum Weserburg und Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2001