Disputed Territory

Marcel Dingemanse

12 sep 2008
18 okt 2008

It is unclear where he is – a green, wooded area with wide plains and expanses of water – it could be anywhere and nowhere. The greyness of all the landscape evokes a hushed atmosphere, as if we were looking at a scene that is timeless, or that perhaps actually exists outside time. His movements sometimes appear purposeless and at other times they are full of conviction, action alternating with a more wait-and-see attitude.

This film by Marcel Dingemanse revolves around character, unlike the work of Gabriel Lester, which is primarily concerned with the methods of the film medium. ‘территория споров: Disputed Territory’ is shown in an enclosed space, surrounded by a variety of objects. Most, but not all, are attributes from the film – implements and objects that appear amid the green expanse in the image. They are set up in display cases in an arrangement reminiscent of a nineteenth-century historical museum; one has a sense that the curator has presented this collection to complete the story. Even so, as objects in the installation they form a curious whole, and heighten the confusion and intangibility evoked by the film.

Even so, Marcel Dingemanse’s ‘Disputed territory’ remains inaccessible. The camera’s dreamy shot, focused above the horizon on rustling twigs that change slowly from a sharp to a blurred image, reinforces this inaccessibility. The subject is not the earth but the indefinable skies. Is this perhaps a metaphor for the state of the man whose movements we follow on the screen? The no-man’s land of the soldier without a fixed destination is his ‘some man’s land’, his space in which to inscribe significance.