CHISTOPH WEBER The first Minutes of October, 2007 Steel 290 x 399 x 0,6 cm
The exhibition at the Neue Galerie consists of three parts: the point of departure of the first project The first Minutes of October, 2007, is the 1927 film October (a.k.a. Ten Days that Shook the World) by the constructivist director Sergei Eisenstein, a film commissioned by Stalin about the October Revolution of 1917. Weber re-edits the first scene, which shows the statue of Tsar Alexander III being toppled. The statue was erected in Moscow in 1912, where it stood until it was removed in 1921. The film, however, suggests that this scene took place in St. Petersburg, although it was filmed at the actual location in 1927. For the film, the statue had to be reconstructed out of paper-mâché. This particular scene became famous for its powerful camerawork and distinctive editing. Weber analyzes each frame in detail, focuses on the perspectives taken, and methodically transfers the constants to a CAD drawing (Computer Aided Design), carefully making sure he maintains the right distances to the central shooting motif. This is then transferred to iron plates, which are mounted on the wall as a heavy, three-dimensional star-shaped sculpture. Without touching on the content of the film scene, Weber transforms a sequence that progresses through time into the hard material of iron, from which incidentally Tatlin‘s tower was to be constructed; at the same time it stands for assertiveness, but also for force. Parallel to the intended reception aesthetics, the artist peels away the system to reveal the star inherent within. Emerging from the existing matrix, it makes reference to the communist-constructivist star and thus to the utopia of socialism.
Weber erases and empties filmic reality on the one hand and at the same time formulates the symbolic infusion of energy derived from the aesthetics of the image conveyed in the film. Questioning the conditions contextually infuses the documented event at the historically real location with energy and gives it new meaning, questioning as well as confusing the decoding process.