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A cinematic exposition on hope, legacy, and loss.
BLACKOUT [black.out] – noun: a sudden and temporary loss of consciousness, vision, or memory. How to chronicle such an enigma?
In this video, Ellen von Unwerth’s erotic and post-apocalyptic exploration of trauma and memory is brought to life through ethereal and foreboding black and white framings.
Accompanied by a deeply emotive soundtrack reinforcing the power, emotion and indeed pain of enduring a blackout, Ellen von Unwerth employs striking pictorial language hauntingly communicated by models Kasia Struss and Maaike Klaasen in six monochrome chapters: Chaos - Runaway - Crash - Lost - Hope - Resurrection.
Evocatively captured on film, BlackOut opens in Chaos with the fluttering of black gossamer evoking the fragility of memory. The hazy confusion of Runaway pushes the woman towards recalling how she arrived here; her memory is a shimmering oasis in the desperate wasteland - Crash. Stranded with no escape, the fear that this place will cease to exist drives her on in Lost. We witness this in the haziness of the horizon. An illusion in the desert of her mind, the blurred outline of rescue, a mirage in the wasteland; her emotions battle with her exhausted conscious in Hope. Bearing the weight of her injured friend, the woman bears the weight of their trauma. Resurrection sees a powerful image of rejuvenation and the quenching of a symbolic thirst as she inherits the legacy of the other woman’s memories. Alone in the wasteland of the desert and of her mind, the woman will live on, the dark guardian of a hazy past - the empty shell of a past that evades her, of memories that threaten to slip away like gossamer.
Black and white photography immortalises a moment in time, resurrecting emotions for an eternity. The camera cuts from reality to memory to the images of the conscious mind.