NXT creatives

Jennifer Mattes

Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien

Trading Stories - A Cargo Named Desire

Trading Stories is based on a journey from Hamburg to Qindao in 1905 from the director’s great grandfather. She followed his traces embarking on a containership. 
In a collage of the documentary, graphical material, found footage from the internet and films as well as lyrics and texts from other sources are all featured. The containership’s cargo is the load of the story, as well as the one of love. It becomes the metaphor for the unconscious; a representative of a society’s body, a symbol for the new beginning and the venture of life, reflecting its tensions, ambivalences and contradictions. The catastrophes of our cultures have developed out of the incredible venture of the conquerors of the seas. After crossing all the limits, even the shipwrecking proves to be a mere episode no matter how often it repeats itself. The film is like a message in a bottle; drifting in the ocean destined by coincidence, by the uncontrollable, within a world of control and without coincidences. The film follows this logic in its underlying montages and considerations. It resembles a dive into the unconscious; in its abysses and depths.

Artist Statement

I see myself as an explorer or investigator in the field of video art and filmmaking. I want to take the audience on a journey where they sink and let go, so that they start to imagine and feel. Depending on the subject matters and conditions surrounding the fields of interest, my works shift between documentary and fiction with a strong connection to humour, poetics and a theoretical background.

I have a strong affinity to theory and texts of any source and I use them for my research. I am offering a sometimes curious, often humorous view on serious issues concerning human entity by tracing sociocultural developments, economic, psychological and political conditions as well as contemporary production of images. By researching the virtual and real space, I use contemporary mass media in time-based art practice while offering a critical view on the real cinematic and virtual spaces of today. My films are constructed like collages that deal with the unconscious as well as the obvious. In the process of using found footage, fragments and by overwriting their original meanings and creating new ones I am aware of their former inherent authorship.