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first contact

film material nº 4

FIlM MATerIAl No. 4 is published on

the occasion of the exhibition

The FourTh WAll at

information on ‘the fourth wall’

koch oBerhuBer WolFF, Brunnenstraße 9, Berlin Published by Spector Books Leipzig and Archive Books, Berlin /Turin — —,

January 2010

Edited by Paolo Caffoni & Clemens von Wedemeyer

Picture by Claude Levi Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, 1955
Picture by Claude Levi Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, 1955

The Story of the Tasaday

The Tasaday were a group of 26 people found living in the rain forest of Mindanao, a southern island in the Philippines. Before they were found in 1971, their lives had purported- ly been untouched by contact with other civi- lisations, and unchanged since the Stone Age. Cave dwellers who wore only leaves and used stone tools, they immediately became a sen- sational subject for photographers, reporters and anthropologists. The eccentric and con- troversial millionaire Manuel Elizalde Jun- ior, head of an agency for the protection of mi-

norities in the Philippines called the PANAM IN Foundation, was instrumental in negotiating the group’s exposure to and protection from the outside world. He created a reserve to pre- vent exploitation of the tract of rainforest that was the Tasaday’s natural habitat, and set con- trols on the media attention and scientific in- vestigation of their lifestyle, language and diet. In 1972 the Marcos regime declared the preserve a restricted area. The declaration of martial law in the Philippines that same year made it difficult to access Mindanao for many years to come. In 1986, 15 years after the Tasaday’s dis- covery, a journalist searching for the group managed to reach their now abandoned dwell- ing caves. He found the Tasaday nearby, now inhabiting houses, smoking cigarettes and wearing blue jeans. The Tasaday made the headlines again, but now their history was unclear. Had the isolated group in the forest changed so radically in 15 years, or had skilled actors deceived the world earlier?

BY wearing masks, painting the skin or tattooing it, people indicate that human beings distinguish themselves from nature. The mask, like art in general, separates us from nature. It creates a tangible identity, a culture. The limits of one’s own culture are often transcended in order to investigate other lives and other cultural settings. Excerpt from ‘Found Footage’, see p. 2.

settings. Excerpt from ‘Found Footage’, see p. 2. International conferences of anthropolo- gists were anxious

International conferences of anthropolo- gists were anxious to learn the truth. The pre- vailing opinion of those conducting follow-up investigations held that contact with the Tas- aday were at least in part a directed event, but controversy and inconsistency accompany most arguments. Even after the Philippine parliament is- sued a statement declaring the authentici- ty of the Tasaday, many people today remain unconvinced that they were any more than one of the biggest hoaxes in the history of an- thropology. C.W.




by Anne M. Lovell

The Tasaday controversy reflects both the post-independence crisis of anthropology in the 1950s and 1960s and the subsequent shift in its paradigms and methods. In a reversal of the earlier colonial anthropologist’s impor- tance, a ‘native’ Filipino from the politically and economically powerful elite controls ac- cess to the people he will bill as untouched by civilization, at least before their encounter with him, in 1971. Films and photographs pro- jecting a gentle, unrepressed, loving people find receptive Western audiences during an era of sexual liberation, the hippie revival of the noble savage myth, emerging ecological consciousness and pacifist desires in the wake of the brutal Vietnam War. Simultaneously, anthropologists are embracing new interpre- tations of the culture of hunters and gatherers, the category of societies to which the Tasaday belong. Hunters and gatherers are now seen as cooperative and inter-dependent, rather than caught up in a Hobbesian state of per- petual competition. And by 1972, Marshall Sahlins will have published his famous study, Stone-Age Economics,which posits‘primitive’ societies as affluent, rather than struggling for survival. Elements of truth claims under colonialism never lay solely in the hands of anthropolo- gists; colonial administrators, explorers and missionaries were often anthropologists them- selves, or at least produced literature about the people they studied. But the Tasaday contro- versy emerges at a time when these figures multiply. The Journalist, the Filmmaker (docu- mentary and docu-drama), the Human Rights Activist, the Adventurer and the Writer con- tribute their efforts to the construction of facts. The revival of the Tasaday controversy in the mid 1980s re-assembles these figures in aca- demic attempts to establish, once and for all, whether the Tasaday story is a hoax. In the end, such long-accepted anthropological methods like ethno-botany, archeology and linguistics meet with a skeptical audience among anthro- pologists, by then wary of how styles of cul- tural description contribute to truth claims and attuned to invisible mediations – the Fourth Wall – that obfuscate ethnographic authority. Anne M. Lovell is an anthropologist at CESAMES , Université Paris Descartes.

anthropologist at CESAMES , Université Paris Descartes . The PAPer You Are lookINg AT … …

The PAPer You Are lookINg AT …

combines research material and com- mentaries as a guide for the exhibition The FourTh WAll. It was edited in such a way to help you understand what links disparate events since 1971, when the Tasaday were discovered, until now.These facts and their echoes were the starting points for an inquiry on that imaginary boundary between reality and representation, which created the ‘fourth wall’. You c AN re A d M ore about found footage (p.2), brutalist architecture (p.3), explorers, cannibalism(p.4)and well-known actors(p.6).

First Contact / January 2010

 First Contact / January 2010 TAsAdAY looking out of their cave into the rain forest

TAsAdAY looking out of their cave into the rain forest in 1972 when they were visited by a team of anthropologists and reporters by helicopter. Photo: John Nance.

and reporters by helicopter. Photo: John Nance. 2009, Digital video, 4:3, 31 min. found footage A
and reporters by helicopter. Photo: John Nance. 2009, Digital video, 4:3, 31 min. found footage A

2009, Digital video, 4:3, 31 min.and reporters by helicopter. Photo: John Nance. found footage A selection of found footage ranging from

found footage

A selection of found footage ranging from news reports and feature films to anthro- pological documentaries are arranged in mutual commentary, drawing relations be- tween separate regions of the world and differing eras of interpretation and trans- lation. Misinterpretation appears to be in- herent to all cases of media attention to pre- viously isolated groups. Sections cover ‘Exploration’,‘The Uncontacted’, ‘Expec- tations’, ‘First Contact’, ‘Reporting’, and ‘Examination’, and, while remaining open- ended, the film also touches on the Tasaday controversy and possible hoax. The com- mentary proposes the thesis that the cam- era and the mask are related devices which generate ‘culture’through concealment and division.

Thanks to Craig Baldwin in San Francisco, where Clemens von Wedemeyer gathered archival footage for this video.

Editors: Janina Herhoffer, Clemens von Wedemeyer Speaker: Stephen Jacob Sound Editor: Thomas Wallman

Speaker: Stephen Jacob Sound Editor: Thomas Wallman 2009, 2 channel installation, HD video loop, 16:9, 6:30

2009, 2 channel installation, HD video loop, 16:9, 6:30 min.Speaker: Stephen Jacob Sound Editor: Thomas Wallman wood Shot from a helicopter, the front projection simulates


Shot from a helicopter, the front projection simulates the gaze of an observer pursuing someone hiding in a forest, while the rear screen shows a view inside the forest.

Camera: Frank Meyer Editor: Janina Herhoffer Production Manager: Fabienne Bideau Produced in collaboration with uToPIcs,

11Th sWIss sculPTure exhIBITIoN,

Biel/Bienne, Simon Lamuniere

sWIss sculPTure exhIBITIoN , Biel/Bienne, Simon Lamuniere TAsAdAY WATch TheMselves. The Tasaday watch the television

TAsAdAY WATch TheMselves. The Tasaday watch the television program 20/20 (ABC news) in which they are being accused of performing a stone age life for strangers. Photo: John Nance, 1988

a stone age life for strangers. Photo: John Nance, 1988 Media Cannibalism by Sylvia Schedelbauer IN



by Sylvia Schedelbauer

IN Theexpanding commercialization of the homogenized media-landscape of the West- ern world, found footage film practice has be- come one way of negotiating many contem- porary issues: Public domain, intellectual property rights, Open Source, Fair Use, dé- tournement, Appropriation Art, film essays, as well as documentary and narration. One such nexus of the found footage practice is San Francisco, which has a vibrant and ener- gized community of filmmakers, media and anti-copyright activists, pioneering thinkers on the electronic frontier, and archivists. In the face of disappearing public space and in- creasing corporatization of public and private images, one unique archive is that of Ameri- can filmmaker Craig Baldwin. Comprising a collection of about 2500 educational, propa- ganda, industrial, narrative, and amateur films, as well as animations, newsreels,TVcommer- cials, and early kinescopes, Baldwin not only uses his archive to create his own films, but makes this treasure trove, developed over three decades of dedicated collecting, availa- ble to an international community of filmmak- ers, both emerging and well established. The unusual thing about Baldwin’s praxis is that – unlike other archives that offer cop- ies of the source material (leaving the origi- nal film intact) – filmmakers sit down at one of Baldwin’s basement editing benches and physically cut out shots of 16mm films, taking home with them a purchased reel containing a myriad of sequences that they wish to use. In this way, the source films are not preserved in their archived condition, but get torn apart, disassembled, and are provisionally spliced together again until, over the course of time, they dwindle down to their core. This practice can metaphoricallybe describedas ‘media can- nibalism’, a strategy in which artists‘rip apart’,

‘disembowel’, and ‘devour’pre-existing films in order to make new works of – possibly – art. But why tear apart films to make newones? There are at least three incentives for this kind of activity: recycling, repurposing, and recon- textualizing.The acceleration of technological inventions for the moving image art rapidly shortens the lifetime of a medium, creating an ever-growing graveyard of ‘dead’formats and their images. It is the creative mind that turns the industry’s scrap field into a play- ground, a laboratory for experimentation.The work process can be compared to that of a ‘mad scientist’, who builds a ‘Frankenstein’ out of bits and pieces of ‘cannibalized’films, while surfing the waves of enhanced media obsoles- cence. Rather than using pre-existing material to illustrate something in an indexical way (as was often practiced in the early compilation documentary of the1930s and 1940s), the con- temporary experimental maker may create a

bricolage that alludes to both the represented material, as well as metaphorical or expres- sionistic uses, opening up new spaces for re- flection and storytelling. The information that is embedded in the source material (true to the format of the period in which it was created) offers a way of bringing its own particular his- tory back in its own terms. Using the form of the montage, the images are ‘detoured’ into a new context, for political, essayistic, documen- tary, or narrative purposes, creating new cin- ematic phrases and dialogues between the dif- ferent contexts, times, and narratives, similar to the concept of hyper-linking.

Finally, found footage films interrogate new, playful ways to subvert mainstream media, beating it with its own language, all the while examining the body and flesh of it.Aperfect way to exploit a mountain of bones: orphaned films, rescued films, stolen films, and forgotten films.

Silvia Schedelbauer is a filmmaker who lives in Berlin and San Francisco

Photo by Wayne Miller, 1955
Photo by Wayne Miller, 1955

First Contact / January 2010


A Fortified Island in the City of London

by Francesco Manacorda

The brutalist architecture of the Barbican Estate was the outcome of a commission to architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon who were briefed to rebuild a whole area of the city that had been bombed during World War II. Covering more than 40 acres, its design was indebted to Le Corbusier’s innovative archi- tectural solutions, including the redirection of all motorised circulation underground to obtain a vast pedestrianised zone. The whole complex was constructed with defensive ar- chitecture from middle ages to recent bunkers as an architectural motif – to which its name is also associated: a barbican is the defensive gate outside fortified medieval castles. The es- tate has more than 2,000 flats and an Art Cen- tre that includes a theatre, a concert hall, three cinemas, two art galleries and a conservato- ry. The nature of the architectural project and its details have made this complex a tempo- ral oxymoron: on the one side it represents the biggest modernist intervention in the UK, em- bracing the future and the technological ad- vantages of concrete; on the other hand, its vast hand hammered concrete surfaces are similar to cave walls and rely on handcraft la- bour, thereby neutralising the economic ad- vantages of brutalism’s signature material‘bé- ton brut’(untreated cement).The design of the theatre overlaps the cave-like elements with a science fictional atmosphere coming straight out of 1950s space invasion movies. The con- servatory is another such paradox: to hide the theatre’s fly tower, the architects built a space for tropical plants to grow in the middle of the concrete island. With a result reminiscent of a J.G. Ballard story and Robert Smithson’s fas- cination for ruins in reverse, the windowless

The FAMIlY oF MAN. Edward Steichen mo- ves a scaled spectator through the exhibition model.

mo- ves a scaled spectator through the exhibition model. The photography exhibition ‘The Family of Man’,

The photography exhibition ‘The Family of Man’, curated in 1955 by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art of New York, aimed to show ‘the essential oneness of man- kind throughout the world’. Steichen selected 503 pictures by 273 photographers from 68 countries, and grouped them around themes relevant to all cultures, such as love, children, and death. The show was criticised for a naive view on mankind, neglecting material condi- tions; photographs were made to submit to the theme. Steichens disregard for the individua- lity of a photograph was compounded by Paul Marvin Rudolph’s exhibition design. The ar- chitect, known for his spatially complex Bru- talist concrete structure, displayed to mural size some prints while others were free han- ging or overlapped with different pictures. At the close of the exhibition’s highly successful American tour, the show travelled abroad to 37 countries under the auspices of the United States InformationAgency. In the words of the historian Nicholas J. Cull, ‘Rather than cras- sly presenting America to the world, America presented the world to the world, and gained credit thereby’.

the world to the world, and gained credit thereby’. tower has been built with fake balconies

tower has been built with fake balconies lus- ciously invaded by different species of plants that now cover it completely. The Barbican Estate can be seen as symptomatic of Britain’s attitude towards modernity and change: em- bracing the future while blatantly indulging in the stratified past.

Francesco Manacorda is a freelance curator based in London.

Francesco Manacorda is a freelance curator based in London. 2009, 16 mm film loop, B/W, 3
Francesco Manacorda is a freelance curator based in London. 2009, 16 mm film loop, B/W, 3

2009, 16 mm film loop, B/W, 3 min.


Shot in black and white 16mm, the film features an actress who later appears in the installation’s final film The Gentle Ones, a record of a play inspired by the Tasaday and staged in the Barbican Theatre. The actress looks directly into the camera, as in an ethnographic portrait or a screen test. Hands enter the frame, making up her face or checking the lighting for the camera.

Cast: Laura Eagland Camera: Clemens von Wedemeyer, Frank Meyer Producers: Tracy Bass, Pinky Ghundale Production Manager: Mark Gibbons 1st Assistant Director: David Dickson Art Director: Emma Landolt Photographer: Sheila Burnett Costume Designer: Heather MacVean Hair/Make-up: Danielle Hooker

BArBIcAN ceNTre drAWINg. Described by the Queen as ‘one of the wonders of the modern world’, the Barbican Centre is an imposing collection of the finest in British arts. The building itself is a labyrinth and finding your route from the station or car park is an adventure in itself. Staircases twist around each other, directing lost patrons into mysteriously empty mezzanines, where odd snatches of music are the only guide back to the main lobby. One of the pleasures of such a huge venue is to arrive early for whatever you plan to see and go exploring.

arrive early for whatever you plan to see and go exploring. Film Time by Angelika Stepken

Film Time

by Angelika Stepken

FIlM time replaces real time. Only film time counts in cinema. This is due to our in- stinctively sensory orientation in time. As soon as the passage of time is implied, we en- ter into a story. Whereas in the 19th century, the photographic image was understood as an objective ‘pencil of nature’, film doesn’t simu- late the tangible, but instead the regularities of lived time. Real time slips away in film.Where does this loss occur? Once films are no longer exclusively shown in the black box and dream factory of cinema – now having entered the object-ori- ented, lighted exhibition rooms – their dis- play becomes problematic: whereas exhibi- tion spaces are designed as dialectical tours of works, screening rooms must support aban- donment to film time. It’s not the dialogue be- tween physical positions that matters, but de- localization, the surrender to the brain’s power to synthesize and experience sequences of im- ages as an ‘interminable’time. Film aspires to credibility, not in its ca- pacity as a recording medium, but as a time simulator. Film can wind time forwards and backwards, show simultaneity in succession andshowsequencessimultaneously,andmake the impossible probable. We follow the mon- tage of the images: lapsed time becomes plau- sible history. The research scientist in‘Against Death’who has supposedly been made immor- tal through a shamanic ritual is able, thanks to a filmic loop, to slit his own throat in one scene and change out of his bloody shirt into

a fresh one in the next. The narration in film is linear, but filmic time is reversible. Film can in fact grant immortality. If imagining this ut- ter unlikelihood is too far-fetched for the me- dium, then it is utopian, unfounded. A camera circles above a forest, with only the tops of the trees in view, yet our eyes are captivated in expectation. It is film’s very bearings in time that arouse the expectations. When these are sustained, the viewer forgets him/herself in return. In ‘The Fourth Wall’the fiction of the film is fragmentary. Real time thrusts itself be- tween elements of film time, as if there were continuity between the one and the other. Is the exhibition like an epic film? Or like an ex- ternalized organ, that wants to fool us with the foretelling of lived time? The film time is located here in space, dur- ing the experience of walking through the dis- play. An alternation transpires between exhi- bition display and film time, real space and filmic narration. During this alternation the viewer becomes aware of different states of the art work, of different levels of ‘fictionali- zation’. The various thresholds to fiction trans- form the exhibition space into an editing room. Just as film time is made credible through montage of the images, here the viewer finds a wealth of connecting points among the sev- en filmic sites of the work. However, the view- er moves through space as rather than with- in a film, relationships fail to develop in time, or in a (film) story, remaining disparate and questionable. Upon leaving the editing room, one recalls one’s self as a possible protagonist who has roamed on location through the vari- ous chapters of a DVD, with no way of finding the film’s end.

Angelika Stepken is a curator and writer, currently director of the Villa Romana, Florence.

First Contact / January 2010

Elizalde embracing Kuletaw during a July, 1971 meeting at the edge of the forest with Bilangan, Balayam and Mahayag watching. Photo: John Nance Photo: John Nance

Bilangan, Balayam and Mahayag watching. Photo: John Nance 1983, 16 mm film transferred to video, 15

1983, 16 mm film transferred to video, 15 min.

a message from the stone age

Directed by John Nance A Message from the Stone Age is a film made solely from photographic stills which John Nance took of the Tasaday in the early1970s. It relates the story of their contact with Manuel Elizalde Jr. and the Panamin Foundation, sometimes posturing in the point of view of the group ‘members’, and strongly conveys Nance’s belief in their humanistic rele- vance, as in his final voice-over statement:

‘The Tasaday are us and we are them; all members of the human family’.

This film can be seen on Youtube.

© Oregon Historical Society Motion Picture Collection

© Oregon Historical Society Motion Picture Collection First Contact by Anne M. Lovell ‘ TheIr history

First Contact

by Anne M. Lovell

TheIr history as a people begins with our visit on June 7, 1971’. This is Manuel Elizalde, the wealthy Filipino businessman, notorious playboy, sometime politician and Presidential Adviser on National Minorities to Ferdinand Marcos, speaking. The citation opens Robin Hemley’s book, Invented Eden. The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday. In the book’s

final pages, Hemley mythologizes this mo- ment, when the Tasaday travel to the place be- yond the forest,‘where the eyes see too far’, to meet this bringer of good fortune prophesied by their ancestors. Two vantage points, two views: the dense forest carpet below, the strange giant bird above. Two narrative structures as well, through which ‘First Contact’is refracted. The now recognized European myth that a non-Western and/or subaltern people’s histo- ry begins at the moment they encounter West- ern civilization had yet to be questioned by an- thropologists when the Tasaday controversy began. At the other end of the Filipino archi- pelago, anthropologist Renato Rosaldo would soon lay the groundwork for this critique. His

1980 ethnography attempts to capture the dis- tinct history and narrative of Ilongot head- hunters. Similarly, in First Time, his fellow anthropologist Richard Price pieces togeth- er from myths, songs, and contemporary en- gravings a sense of how Saramaka maroons – escaped slaves who settled in the rainfor- ests of Surinam – view their place and identity within a larger historical process. The numerous genres of borrowed film, from newsreels to ethnographic documenta- ry, projected in ‘The Fourth Wall’installation, constitute just as many distancing devices that displace coevalness, or the juxtaposition of temporalities.They leave us caught between a supposedly timeless present of their subjects and the present time of the film-maker.

the interviews

and the present time of the film-maker. the interviews 2008, HD video, 55 min. How to

2008, HD video, 55 min.and the present time of the film-maker. the interviews How to Re-establish the Truth About the

How to Re-establish the Truth About the Tasaday?


Columbus, Ohio, November 2008 In this interview with Clemens von Wedemeyer, reporter and photojournalist John Nance recounts his experiences as one of the first people to visit the Tasaday in 1971 and to bring this small cave-dwelling community to the attention of the wider world. Nance is best known for his books The Gentle Tasaday, the children’s book Lobo of the Tasaday, and the picture book Discovery of the Tasaday. Clemens von Wedemeyer met John Nance in his home in Columbus, Ohio. The interview begins with Nance recalling his experience of the Vietnam war, and in particular the differences between the atmos- phere of the jungle there and in the Philip- pines, where Nance spent most of the

subsequent years as the head of the AP office in Manila. It was meeting the Tasaday that most distinguished the island jungle from that of Vietnam: Here was a community Nance describes as peaceful and living in full har- mony with nature – in great contrast to most global inhabitants at the time. His books most likely inspired flower people in the U.S., and Nance knows of people who named their children‘Tasaday’after his book. The Tasaday and their way of life had a huge impact on the ideology of the 1970s. He recounts the first meeting of this group with the helicopter of Manuel Elizalde in June 1971. The Tasaday were well aware that this contact would change their way of life:

Ubus Tasaday, Ubus’,which means The end of the Tasaday, the end’. Much of the interview centres on the Tasaday hoax theory, first put forth by both a Swiss and a Filipino journalist in 1986, which Nance de- nounces as the real hoax and a conspiracy against the Tasaday. The following resulting shift in public opinion about the Tasaday cost Nance his membership in Magnum among other things, as he was forced to bear the stigma of being the person who had photographed ‘a living zoo’. Nance claims that even after official institutions vouched for the authenticity of the Tasaday, the hoax theory continues to persist, and therefore he is trying to reestablish the truth about the Tasaday through new platforms like the internet.Von Wedemeyer asks whether the Tasaday weren’t exploited by different forc- es, and Nance explains that part of the income from the sale of his books still helps the Tasaday and other minorities in the Philip- pines.

helps the Tasaday and other minorities in the Philip- pines. 2009, HD video, 35 min. How
helps the Tasaday and other minorities in the Philip- pines. 2009, HD video, 35 min. How

2009, HD video, 35 min.

How to Deal With the Uncontacted?

INTervIeW WITh geoFFreY FrANd

London, UK, April 2009 Clemens von Wedemeyer interviews lecturer, ethnographer and actor Geoffrey Frand following a lecture he gave at the Barbican Centre at the invitation of an investment banking firm. Frand discusses the diverse consequences of making first contact with isolated groups, like those living deep in the rainforests of Brazil. He explains that today’s society has a responsibility to preserve such groups and that the best possible means of doing so is to prevent all contact with them. While recognising the immediate scientific signifi- cance of studying the means of their exist- ence and survival, he argues that prolonging their isolation is of greater importance and an invaluable resource for society in the future. Von Wedemeyer points to the similarity with

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in which natives are fenced off in reservations. Agreeing, Frand states that just such reser- vations are the only hope for the future, since they would prevent the active destruction of what he considers to be the ‘living past’. This idea is of particular interest to von Wedemeyer and he is prompted to suggest that we are the ones the so-called savages must be protected from. Frand concurs, stat- ing that opportunities for future anthropolog- ical and scientific research can only be guaranteed through isolation. He also refers to the cautionary tale of a fellow explorer, who in his quest to fully understand the way of life of a Brazilian tribe, partook in a ritual that had a lasting adverse affect. In inter- acting in ways in which the consequences are unknown and possibly fatal, both for the individual and for the group, Frand continues, explorers themselves contribute to the prob- lem of what he terms cultural contamination. Von Wedemeyer and Frand go on to discuss who has the right to determine the liberty and future of secluded ethnic groups. Frand insists that society today should reject the idea of such global contact and exchange and enforce their continued isolation for a minimum of 500 years. This is to be done, he maintains, through the creation of new borders, including physical, illusory, and psychological ones.

First Contact / January 2010

National Geographic and the Lost Inspiration

by Ruggero Deodato

I shot Last Cannibal World in 1976 and

Cannibal Holocaust in 1979. After twenty years in quarantine and several difficult proc- esses involving both censors and the legal sys- tem, a group of young American people made a film similar to Cannibal Holocaust : The Blair Witch Project. The authors, the actors in- volved in Cannibal Holocaust, and I had rest- ed easy, and then when this movie premiered, its undeserved success woke us up from our lethargy. The emergence of this ‘young talent’ provoked much debate and the mass media began to examine reasons behind the film’s success. The unanimous response across the globe from young people was that The Blair Witch Project is just a copy of the movie Can- nibal Holocaust which was shot by someone named Deodato in late 1979.

I was inundated with attention from jour-

nalists, television crews from around the world, and young fans. From that point on I re-

ceived many invitations to festivals and con- ferences, many questions were raised about the animals there were killed; about the Indig- enous people we employed, the way we creat- ed the special effects, the truth about some of the scenes and about the way of shooting. An- other point was that important directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Joe Dante, Oliver Stone, Eli Roth, Stuart Gordon and several other

Oliver Stone, Eli Roth, Stuart Gordon and several other 2008, HD video, 35 min. H ow
Oliver Stone, Eli Roth, Stuart Gordon and several other 2008, HD video, 35 min. H ow

2008, HD video, 35 min.

How to Create an Unbelievable Fiction?

INTervIeW WITh ruggero deodATo

Rome, Italy, October 2008 Director of the 1979 cult film Cannibal Holocaust and Last Cannibal World (1976), Ruggero Deodato talks with Clemens von Wedemeyer about the making of his films and his experiences of working with actors and extras in the jungles of Malaysia and elsewhere. During the interview, von Wede- meyer shows Deodato the August 1972 issue of National Geographic featuring the Tasaday story. The director is surprised and explains that he was inspired for the film Last Cannibal World directly and openly from pictures he saw in this magazine and turned it a cannibal story. English Translation: Barbara Mattei Thanks to Elisabeth Giers and Gabriele Gaspari

young unknowns, have all watched Cannibal Holocaust, and found inspiration from it for their own films.

Several horrible movie ‘copies’followed the making of Cannibal Holocaust but also there were well made tributes to the movie and to my movie direction and stage-manag- ing, which were innovative for their time. In the best possible way, it completely changed my life, which was already eventful enough, and dulcis in fundo, I also started to receive re- quests to appear as an actor in cameo roles. In the middle of all this chaos, I felt the loss of a precious piece which marked the start of my cannibal film production. Precisely 32 years after the first cannibal movie, Last Cannibal World, that made me


Germanycametointerviewme,Clemens.This Teutonic Clemens – anthropologist, producer, director, editor, and everything else – was the only one among many other interviewers who brought me something which I had lost and by then forgotten: National Geographic, Vol. 142, No.2, August 1972.

A find! A real find. After 32 years, up popped the magazine which first led me into the cannibal world.

I would like to thank the photo journal-

ist John Launois, who recently passed away.

I was so inspired by his photos and from them

I constructed the whole path that lead to Last

Cannibal World. His documentation was so necessary for me to convince the actors to im- itate some of the rituals and to persuade them of the accuracy of my research and inspiration. They were also invaluably useful in making the costumes, the location-scouting and the special effects. That edition of National Geographic was at the end of the filming so worn out that somehow it didn’t make it back to my house in Rome.

I should have always told the journalists

who interviewed me about this precious docu-

mentation that was so very helpful to me. But who knows if anyone would have believed me.

I want to repay Clemens his kindness with a

signed copy of the film, although it doesn’t

seem to me to be enough to balance the delight

I felt to have this magazine back. Thanks Cle- mens and thanks to John Launois.

Originally published in the magazine Nocturno, Rome, 2009, after Clemens von Wedemeyer’s visit to Rome.

Rome, 2009, after Clemens von Wedemeyer’s visit to Rome . cleMeNs voN WedeMeYer MeeTs MIsTer cANNIBAl
Rome, 2009, after Clemens von Wedemeyer’s visit to Rome . cleMeNs voN WedeMeYer MeeTs MIsTer cANNIBAl

cleMeNs voN WedeMeYer MeeTs MIsTer cANNIBAl IN hIs house IN roMe. Deodato

displays the August 1972 issue of National Geographic featuring the Tasaday story.

I don’t believe

An Interview with Benedict Allen

is an author, explorer,TV filmmaker-presenter and international mo- tivational speaker who is best known for his arduous expeditions to remote corners of the globe. These jour- neys are realized not with a satellite phone, GPS or any of the usual ‘backups’ but by un- dertaking a test journey after a period of train- ing alone with a remote indigenous commu- nity. These and other ventures are depicted in his ten books – including two best sellers – and six BBC television series. Clemens von Wedemeyer interviewed him during his visits to London.

von Wedemeyer interviewed him during his visits to London. BeNedIcT AlleN excerPT : Benedict Allen –

BeNedIcT AlleN


Benedict Allen – I think I have a clear idea of where I come from. In Britain and in Europe, I mean British culture within Europe. And I think that gives me the confidence to go. And if you loose that sense of where you come from, and who you are, then you go mad. Clemens von Wedemeyer – Does that include religion? Do you believe? BA – I don’t believe. And it‘s a problem. I’ve heard people say that when you are going to die, everyone becomes religious. Every- one believes in God, everybody prays, when

Harvard students and Amazon Indians help identify the brain’s lie detector

BY sTeve coNNor, scIeNce edITor

A ‘cheating centre’ in the brain has been identified by scientists with the help of Har- vard students, a tribe of Amazonian Indians and a man who cannot handle money. The findings suggest two million years of human evolution have led to a specialised set of brain cells devoted to the critically important social task of detecting whether someone is a cheat or a liar. Discovering that the centre functions just as well in members of a remote Amazon tribe as in the minds of well-educated Harvard undergraduates demonstrated its basic role in human biology, the scientists said. Two studies published yesterday in the Pro- ceedings of the National Academy of Scienc- es have shown that cheat-detection is a uni- versal feature of human nature and that it is performed quite separately from the other tasks of the brain. Anthropologists and evo- lutionary psychologists have long suspected that humans must be gifted in detecting cheats because of the importance of reciprocal coop- eration in social behaviour. ‘For social exchange to evolve in a species, individuals must be able to detect cheaters’, say the researchers, led by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, of the University of Califor- nia at Santa Barbara. The scientists studied a brain-damaged patient, known only by the ini- tials RM, who was quite normal in all respects except that he was naive when it came to in- teracting with other people and had difficul- ty with money. ‘RM’s differential impairment indicates that being able to detect potential cheaters may be a separable component of the human mind’, say the researchers. They sug- gest the cheating centre is in the limbic sys- tem of the brain. A separate series of tests of Harvard undergraduates and the Shiwiar tribe found even people living the simplest exist- ence were just as good at detecting cheating. The Independent, Tuesday,13 Aug. 2002

he dies … not in my case, because I found I couldn’t believe. I lost total confidence in my-

self, when I was robbed in the Amazonian. I just felt like a total failure. I thought: Why did

I allow myself to be here? I’ve let down my

mother, my father, I’ve let down myself, be- cause I made a mess of my plans. So believ- ing in something that I couldn’t even see, what

I didn’t have any evidence for would be im-

possible. So I lost belief totally in myself – the only thing that made me survive were the things I knew about, certainly my girlfriend and my mum. I just walked out of the forest

for their sake. I think I have to make an effort even if I don’t want to, because I’ve been so selfish. Do you know what I mean? CvW – Did you feel you have to punish your-


BA – No, no, no. I thought I had to withstand whatever the environment or the forest would give me. Even if I didn’t want to, because I had been so stupid, and I had to get home. So it was not about punishment. That is an even more complicated thought (laughs). No, I just had to get out. And I have never believed in God, but maybe that is another motive for an explorer. Livingstone lost his faith in God more and more. Certainly not in my case. Maybe there is an emp- tiness there, that’s why explorers have a lot of demons usually. Some of them were beaten by their fathers when they were little, so they want to prove themselves to the world. Otherwise ex- plorers have struggled about their lives and they want to show or do something important. In my case I don’t know what it is.

CvW – Somebody else has to find out. BA – Yes! – CvW – I mean that is what the an- thropologist says: You need a view from out- side to understand. BA –Yes, yes I need to get an anthropologist to study me! (laughs).

yes I need to get an anthropologist to study me! ( laughs ). 2009, 35 mm

2009, 35 mm film transferred to HD video loop, 16:9 /1.85:1,9 min.

mm film transferred to HD video loop, 16:9 /1.85:1,9 min. against death Shot in 35mm film

against death

Shot in 35mm film in a Barbican flat in London, an explorer tells his anthropolo- gist friend about an experience with a pre- viously uncontacted group in the jungle and a ritual he underwent which he claims granted him immortality. When his friend fails to believe him, the explorer demon- strates his inability to die, and the scene seamlessly loops back to its beginning. Like the endlessly repeating film, the ex- plorer is frozen in a loop outside real time due to his immortal status.

Explorer: James Rochfort Friend: Geoffrey Burton

Producers: Tracy Bass, Pinky Ghundale Production Manager: Mark Gibbons 1st Assistant Director: David Dickson Editor: Janina Herhoffer Director of Photography: Frank Meyer Focus Puller: Oliver Ledworth Camera Assistant: Pearce Crowley Grip: Alex Coverley Steady Cam Operator: Barney Davies Gaffer: Mathias Beier Sound Recordist: Nigel Batting Sound Editor: Thomas Wallmann Foley artist: Foley Studio Berlin Production Designer: Imogen Hammond Art Director: Emma Landolt Art Department Assistant: Charlotte McEwan Costume Designer, Stylist: Heather MacVean Hair/Make-up: Danielle Hooker Special Effects: Artem Digital Effects: Andreas Tröger

First Contact / January 2010


 First Contact / January 2010 spectacle 2009, 3 channel video installation, 4:3, 13 min. reception
 First Contact / January 2010 spectacle 2009, 3 channel video installation, 4:3, 13 min. reception

2009, 3 channel video installation, 4:3, 13 min.


Reception is a three-screen projection and documents the celebrations at the Barbican Conservatory following the theatrical premiere there of The Gentle Ones. ‘First contact’takes place between members of the audience and the actors who had per- formed roles as cave-dwellers based on the Tasaday. Significantly, this interaction be- tween observed and observing reflects the point at which the ‘fourth wall’is broken.

Cast: Drew Calden, Karl Brown. Josh Hart, Kae Yukawa, Kesty Morrison, Brett Curry, Lewis Goody, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Elisa Lombardi, Natalie Codsi, Parinay Mehra, Tony Maskell, Ryan Finch and Lois Graham

Writers: Leis Bagdach, Clemens von Wedemeyer Producers: Tracy Bass, Pinky Ghundale Production Manager: Mark Gibbons 1st Assistant Director: David Dickson Director of Photography: Frank Meyer Gaffer: Wayne King Sound Recordist: Nigel Batting Sound Editor: Thomas Wallmann Production Designer: Imogen Hammond Art Director: Emma Landolt Costume Designer: Heather MacVean Hair/Make Up: Gina Anderson, Danielle Hooker Stills Photographers: Joachim Mueller-Ruchholtz, Sheila Burnett

From Fiction to Reality:

Staging Truth

by Francesco Manacorda

The story of the Tasaday discovery repre- sents the quintessential example of multiple truths attached to a single event. Narrated by different individuals, the contact, its televised version and the debate that it brought about are texts that need decoding and whose con- tradictions put their genuineness in question. What is verifiable in the representations we have been shown, and what is staged and part of a performance? If it was real, was it ma- nipulated by the media reporting it or by the public’s projections? If it was a performance, what was the author’s intention in terms of public reception and social and political con- sequences? The news of an uncontacted tribe living sim- ilarly to the way historians established that humans were living in the Stone Age is what instantly fired the imagination of remote TV spectators from all over the world. It even prompted a visit by Gina Lollobrigida in pos- sible attempt to re-enact the myth of the beau- ty and the beast. The possibility of time travel- ling to what romantically could be conceived as the golden age of genuine humanity, re- motely relegated to the past made suddenly present and unadulterated by civilisation is, even today, too tempting to resist. Even if the original discovery was genuine, the projec- tion of the spectators of such reported events created a demarcation of territory similar to the one separating stage and stalls. If in tra-

similar to the one separating stage and stalls. If in tra- I hAve taken these photographs

I hAve taken these photographs of the Tasaday over more than 30 years, starting when they were living in caves in the South- ern Mindanao Philippine rainforest in 1971. As time passes, the photos show the Tasaday as their lifestyle changes and they acquire spouses from a tribe outside the forest, and then develop new ways of living – ac- quire clothing, houses, gardening, farming, schools for their children, regular medical

farming, schools for their children, regular medical assistance, training in forest-friendly agri- culture,

assistance, training in forest-friendly agri- culture, trade, and conduct a major effort to secure titles to their land by government Cer- tification of an Ancestral Domain, which will

make the land fully their own. The final stages of the land acquisition process are continu- ing. Most of these efforts were supported with money and administrative help from Friends of the Tasaday, an orgnization based in

the U.S.

John Nance

ditional theatre the fourth wall is an imag- inary barrier that the actors need in order to pretend that their actions are real and the au- dience is not there, in the Tasaday story there are as many invisible walls as versions of the event. From one point of view, the wall seems necessary to the spectators who needed to be- lieve that the action was real to satisfy their own desires, or it could have been staged by the discoverers (Elizalde) for political or self- aggrandising reasons, or else another fourth wall could be the transparent lens of the cam- eras that framed and defined their subject.

of the cam- eras that framed and defined their subject. A FAMIlY sceNe . Foyer of

A FAMIlY sceNe. Foyer of the Barbican Art Centre, 2008. Photo: C.von Wedemeyer

of the Barbican Art Centre, 2008. Photo: C.von Wedemeyer Crush: Belayem Tasaday by Clemens von Wedemeyer


Belayem Tasaday

by Clemens von Wedemeyer

WheN a group of 26 people in the rainfor- est of Mindanao, Philippines showed their dwelling caves to visitors from the West for the first time in the summer of 1971, it seemed an immense coincidence that in the 20th cen- tury people could be living a Stone Age exist- ence although a settlement was located only 30 miles away. Reportedly it was the dense, mountainous jungle that had sheltered the Tasaday people from ‘discovery’ for so long. The Tasaday themselves exclaimed that the forest was their world, and that they were fear- ful of flat land ‘where the eye sees too far’. As NBC, National Geographic and NDR began with filming the following year, one member of the group frequently stood out in front of the camera: Belayem, an unmarried man who was in his mid-twenties at the time. Due to his talent for mimicry and ability to recount ex- periences with startlingly accurate gestures, journalists from NBC dubbed him the ‘Mar- cel Marceau of the Stone Age’. Soon he was imitating the photographers and cameramen, who felt they had rediscovered paradise and

and cameramen, who felt they had rediscovered paradise and The irrepressible Balayam imitating a photographer.

The irrepressible Balayam imitating a photographer. Picture: John Nance

Balayam imitating a photographer. Picture: John Nance now presented a human zoo to the world. Be-

now presented a human zoo to the world. Be- layem mimicked the helicopter pilot, the jour- nalist smoking a pipe, and – as pictured here – the photographers. On the older video footage he appears ready to clown around at any mo- ment. Soon Belayem was so adept at posing for the cameras, that he perhaps knew which gestures were most likely to please and which actions might most impress his viewers. The journalists observing also knew which takes to broadcast for an American audience in the era of the Vietnam War and the Hippie move- ment. Anthropologist Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt

hoped to avoid the charades by putting a 90- degree mirror behind his camera lens, and pretending to be testing the camera. The 12- year-old boy Lobo, acrobatically swinging on liana vines in front of the caves, provided an- other fascinating motif, but eventually inter- est in an all-natural lifestyle waned, and the Tasaday were left in peace. It wasn’t until many years later that cam- eras from the West returned their attention to these talented mime artists. In 1986, after 12 years of isolation in a protected reservation under the state of emergency declared during the Marcos’dictatorship, the Tasaday were re- visited by a Swiss journalist who claimed that they had only acted out their Stone Age exist- ence in the 1970s, and had been pawns of an external power seeking attention and political gain. This was confirmed by Lobo and other Tasaday in interviews on camera. Indeed an interesting possibility: 26 local farmers strip themselves of their clothes and begin to live in caves, feed themselves from the forest and let their hair grow long, and act as if they had always done so. Their act had so impressed the western media that deforestation had been halted and a reservation erected for their pro- tection. A battle broke out among anthropolo- gists, and in an effort to end the controversy, the government of the Philippines issued an official statement confirming the authenticity of the Tasaday. The hoax theory has, however, prevailed:

today the majority of Wikipedians on the In- ternet believe that the Tasaday were some kind of a staged act. This might be the lega- cy of Belayem: how logical that his ingenious games and poses in the perfect mise-en-scène of the jungle would be judged as ‘bigger than life’ and therefore untrue. The implausibility of such a lifestyle being reenacted so success- fully as to deceive experts and the media is in

fact more sensational and impressive than the mere romantic idea of so-called ‘primitives’ remaining uncontacted into the 20th centu- ry. Charles Darwin, exploring the Tierra del Fuego from the Beagle in 1833, commented on the natives’ talented use of body language:

‘All savages appear to possess, to an uncom- mon degree, this power of mimicry’.This skill seems much more developed in them than in the so-called civilized. While Darwin attrib- uted this to their more highly developed sen- sory perception, one could rather cite the evo- lutionary necessity of oral transmission, also aided by gesticulation during narration. During first contacts between ethnologists and isolated groups, it would seem necessary to begin by using familiar gestures so as to de- velop a common sign language. Perhaps Dar- win should have included mime artists along with the painters and writers he took on his journeys to aid in communication. In the case of Belayem, might the high art of pantomime testify not to willful duplicity, but rather give proof of the authenticity of isolated ‘savages’ existing in the 20th century? When viewing the original footage of the Tasaday, I find it hard to believe that a group of peasants might have convincingly imitated a Stone Age peo- ple. Would an actor, already playing a role in which he builds stone tools, weave in a second theatrical layer of pantomime into the simple act of natural survival in the jungle? Perhaps. Either way Belayem was an accomplished ac- tor, even more so in the case of a fraudulent play!

A german version of this text was previously published in Cargo Film Medien Kultur, Issue 4, December 2009

First Contact / January 2010

 First Contact / January 2010 2009, HD video, 16:9, 28 min. the gentle ones The
 First Contact / January 2010 2009, HD video, 16:9, 28 min. the gentle ones The

2009, HD video, 16:9, 28 min.

the gentle ones

The Gentle Ones was initially inspired by the Tasaday, who were secretly au- diotaped in their caves. The transcrip- tions of the tapes, which were published in John Nance’s book, The Gentle Tasa- day: A Stone Age People in the Philippine Rain Forest (1975), give one the impres- sion that the recordings had been script- ed and staged, whether or not one believes in the authenticity of the original material. The probable isolation of the Tasaday can be compared to the training technique of actors who detach themselves from the out- side world for the duration of rehearsals. The intention was to show actors employ- ing just such a technique, in preparation for a play that was inspired by the Tasaday, on stage. They could even live on the stage – isolated yet fully immersed in the sub- ject matter – in an effort to make their play more ‘real’.

Cast: Natasha Baria, Shalini Baria, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Karl Brown, Drew Caiden, Natalie Codsi, Andrew Duffus, Iana Eastmond, Tyrone Eastmond, Ryan Finch, Annabel Foley, Tess Foley, Lewis Goody, Lois Graham, Rebecca Hallam, Ellen Jennings, Elisa Lom bardi, Tony Maskell, Mirella McGee, Parinay Mehra, Kesty Morrison and Emily Page

Writer: Leis Bagdach Editor: Janina Herhoffer Producers: Tracy Bass, Pinky Ghundale Production Manager: Mark Gibbons 1st Assistant Director: David Dickson Director of Photography: Frank Meyer Focus Puller: Oliver Ledworth Grip: Alex Coverley Sound Recordist: Nigel Batting Boom Operator: Brendan Crehan Sound Editor: Thomas Wallmann Production Designer: Imogen Hammond Art Director: Emma Landolt Art Department Assistant: Charlotte McEwan Costume Designer: Heather MacVean Costume Assistants: Katie Hill, Emma Heath, Holly Freeman Hair/Make Up: Gina Anderson, Danielle Hooker


by Francesco Manacorda

Danielle Hooker Set-Specificity by Francesco Manacorda The FourthWall and the Production of Otherness by Paolo

The FourthWall and the Production of Otherness

by Paolo Caffoni

aged to produce an otherness to reflect its mir- ror image in, and hence legitimate itself. The use of myth in Western culture has always served to justify a rationally inexpli- cable dimension. Ancient Greece resorted to myth to explain the existence of gods without giving material evidence, the myth of Aryan racial superiority served to justify a scientifi- cally unsupported biological claim. In times of famine, to explain why food such as hu- man flesh was morally objectionable, Catho- lic anthropology resorted to the myth of canni- bal populations living at the boundaries of the

known world, who ate those missionaries try- ing to export religious salvation, and a whole new way of life. At the beginning of another era – after the crisis of the modern age – when the Western world is on the verge of swallowing its last ho- rizon, the nascent industry of mass entertain- ment in LosAngeles, gives birth to the myth of Hollywood actors. What ‘distinguished’ Hol- lywood stars from the rest of the world popula- tion was the unconditional belief that the char- acters and heroes they exemplified in movies, coincided with the real individuals who play them. And so a mythic aura began to devel- op around the profession of acting, which had previously been considered quite ordinary. Hollywood stars gave rise to a new genealogy of myths built on the overlapping of real life and entertainment, and by consecrating them the world of film voraciously irrupted within the boundaries of real life. The function of myth, in its entertain- ment-related aspects, allows the viewer sit- ting in a dark room to cross that psychological threshold of disbelief after which the repre- sentation becomes identical to the object pre- sented. That mythical boundary, described by Cartesian materialism as a physical threshold in one’s brain where the order of presentation corresponds to the order of perception, now appears to be nothing more than a pricey cul- tural sophistication. Such cultural sophisti- cation – we might call it ‘fourth wall’– is the tool that grants the entertainment industry its key role in the future developments of Amer- ican society and, by extension, the rest of the world. In the poster for Last Action Hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger jumps towards the audience and bursts with a kick out of the screen. The movie is a parody of the action genre, popular since the early eighties. It tells the story of Jack Slater/Schwarzenegger – the main character in a string of genre movies – and of his magi- cal passage from the world of fiction to reali- ty. That occurs through an encounter between character Slater and actor Schwarzenegger at the premier of ‘their’ new film. Last Ac- tion Hero is director John McTiernan’s sec- ond consecutive flop: the year before, in 1992, McTiernan’s Medicine Man had told the sto- ry of a scientist (Sean Connery) researching a cure for cancer in the Brazilian rain forest, and living in close contact with a local popu- lation threatened by the invasion of bulldoz- ers of their pristine natural habitat. The movie poster reads: ‘He turned his back on civili- zation. Only to discover he had the power to save it’. The same rain forest was also the set of McTiernan’s first hit: his 1987 blockbust- er Predator had grossed sixty million dollars in the United States alone, spurring a series of

AT The beginning of the Modern era there was a journey. During the 15th century Euro- pean culture, then ‘Western’ culture, discov- ered its own identity – albeit partially uni- fied – through the attainment of a symbolic elsewhere. Across the ocean the West was no longer the all-encompassing representation of a reality, but the partialization of a partic- ular historical moment, of a specific reality and cultural construction. Contact with in- digenous peoples from different genealogies, in a part of the world until then unknown, al- lowed for the acknowledgment by Europe- an explorers of a certain differential identity, through the discovery of a wholly other iden- tity. A journey that began as an exploration of the eastern borders of the known world thus became the much deeper discovery of com- mon cultural roots. After this first contact with difference, and seeing its mirror image in it, the Western world acquired strength, invigorating its roots and beliefs to the point of exorcising the end that would naturally come after the course of events. After exorcising death, the West con- tinued to dramatically expand over several centuries reaching a global dimension, until the era of globalization, in which it ultimate- ly swallowed its own horizon. What we now need to question is how its institution has sur- vived the ultimate limit to this expansion, how

clad tropical forest was used to stage a meet- – once free of horizons – the West has man-

As The starting point for research or as a situation to respond to, Clemens von Wede- meyer used the Barbican Estate as a film lo- cation to which a narrative was matched and adapted. The theatre was used as a cave, sim- ilar to that in which the Tasaday were living, which actors inhabited pretending not to be on stage; the conservatory featuring a cement

ing between actors and audience to allude to meetings between explorers and undiscov- ered groups; the walkways served as an urban jungle set for a screen test of an actor clear- ly dressed up as an untamed ‘savage’; a flat in the Cromwell tower was used as the house of an explorer decorated with trophies of real and intellectual travels. The whole Barbican utopian project was used as a framework to ask questions relating to the consequences of first contacts in anthropology and to the fabri- cation of truth in theatre, television, explora- tions and scientific research.

JosePh MAzIlIer As Jocko. .

Two dancing figures depicted in their paral- lel roles in the sentimental drama Jocko or the Brazilian Ape. Their pas de deux is choreo- graphed as a sequence of mirror images: the child prays and the ape copies the attitudes. […] Through this symmetrical and sentimen- tal plot, Jocko emphasises a fundamental equivalence between ape and human; through its balletic and pantomimic interludes, it high- lights physical and behavioural similarity. Originally published in: Jane R. Goodall, Per- formance and Evolution in the Age of Darwin:

Out of the Natural Order, London & New York, Routledge, 2002: p. 50.

sequels and remakes that eventually lead to the 1993 parody. In the movie, Schwarzeneg- ger is Dutch, the commander of a special forc- es team whose mission is the recovery of a crashed helicopter in the region of Val Verde. He encounters a mysterious invisible alien, whose sole purpose seems to be to collect hu- man heads. Schwarzenegger, as an actor of in- ternational fame, was recognized as the hero of a series of films that focused on the defeat of a ‘monstrously different’ foe, a classical Cold War-age Hollywood theme. The ‘pred- ator’was played by former basketball player Kevin Peter Hall, whose sheer size brought him to interpret ‘monstrous’physical roles in movies by wearing a mask. As foreshadowed in Last Action Hero’s promotional image, on October 7th, 2003, ten years after the film’s release,Schwarzenegger overcame the barrier between reality and fic- tion: he exploited his movie fame to get elect- ed as thirty-eighth Governor of California. As the self-appointed Western hero in doz- ens of films, the task could not have prov- en difficult for him. Two other actors from Predator’s cast have been candidates in vari- ous elections, but with mixed results. The road travelled by Schwarzenegger had already been opened by another Hollywood charac- ter: Ronald Reagan, the American president of the Cold War era, had previously been both Governor of California and a Hollywood actor, although not with the same success.

and a Hollywood actor, although not with the same success. FroM FIcTIoN To reAlITY : President

FroM FIcTIoN To reAlITY: President : President

Reagan having a photo taken with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, 1984.

Source: graphs/vips.html. Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library.

The journey undertaken by a generation of movie characters into a lost forest, where something completely ‘other’lies awaiting, is the continual re-enactment of the voyage of the first explorers to the pristine land, beyond an imaginary horizon, in an endless drift from the imaginary to the real. ‘The Fourth Wall’is not the classical piece of architecture, it is the attempt to re-design something different, an otherness. It is the de- sire to connect a physiological border with a system of interests, like the inner surface of a triangle. It is a cultural system able to preserve the actual order of things. The Western world, in search of its long-lost otherness, wears a mask and plays a different role on stage. In an endless alternation of roles, it recreates that horizon where it can once again find its own reflection and survive.

Paolo Caffoni is editor of Archive books, Berlin.

First Contact / January 2010


















Raw Material





















don’t know




Mixed Footage

















Fiction / Theatre

















Correction FrANçoIs cloueT, PorTräT der elIsABeTh voN ÖsTerreIch, 1571. no REFUSAL Oil on wood, 36
FrANçoIs cloueT, PorTräT
der elIsABeTh voN ÖsTerreIch, 1571.
Oil on wood, 36 × 26 cm. Musée du Louvre,
Paris.—This Portrait inspired Lévi-Strauss’
theory of the ‘modèle réduit’, or works of art
as ‘miniature models’and other theories of
artworks in his book The Savage Mind.

Colophon The project ‘The Fourth Wall’was commissioned by Barbican Art Gallery and first exhibited from May 28th to August 30th, 2009 at The Curve, Barbican Art Centre, London. Additional funding was provided by Medienboard Berlin-Branden- burg, IFA, and the British Arts Council. Curated by Francesco Manacorda. Assistant Curator: Corinna Gardner; Film Producers:

Tracy Bass, Pinky Ghundale Production Company: Intensive Care Productions Ltd, David Dickson Video installation equipment: Eidotech, Berlin

Dickson Video installation equipment: Eidotech, Berlin For the project we would like to thank: Sarah Aguilar;
Dickson Video installation equipment: Eidotech, Berlin For the project we would like to thank: Sarah Aguilar;

For the project we would like to thank:

Sarah Aguilar; Craig Baldwin, ATA San Francisco; Yvonne Brandl; Kate Bush; Köken Ergun; Anselm Franke; Christian Burgess and Lisa Evans at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Daniel McClean; Nanna Heidenreich; Alexander Koch; Teresa Hoefert de Turegano; Simon Lamuniere; Anne M. Lovell; Rosalind Nashashibi; Sam Clark, Kodak; Len Thornton, Soho Film Lab; Nikolaus Oberhuber; Susanne Pfeffer; Mark Sladen and Garrick Jones; Panalux London; Toni Racklin, Barbican Theatre; Joachim Reck; Stagecoach Chorleywood; Maya Schweizer; Manuel Segade; Holm Taddiken; Take Two; Arnold von Wedemeyer; UTArchitects: Tim Bauerfeind & Henning von Wedemeyer; Andrew Wilson; Jocelyn Wolff.

Film Material No. – First Contact (The Fourth Wall). Edited by Paolo Caffoni & Clemens von Wedemeyer. Designed by Till Gathmann Translated by: Anamarie Michnevich, Vincenzo Latronico. Copy edited by: Michèle Faguet. Thanks to Chiara Figone, Carsten Humme. Photo credits as mentioned; please contact us, if we could not reach the author. Film Material No.4 / The Fourth Wall is produced by KOCH OBERHUBER WOLFF, Berlin and published by Spector Books, Leipzig & Archive Books, Berlin/Turin on occasion of the exhibition ‘The Fourth Wall’at KOCH OBERHUBER WOLFF in Berlin from Jan. 22 to Mar.10th 2010. Email:,,