“BIRDS (left) was filmed in the ruins of the former outdoor disco club ‘Amnesia’ on the island Corsica. The disco, owned by American investors, got bombed in 2001”. With these rather factual sentences Niklas Goldbach introduces us to his film “Birds (left)”. Not accidentally, the film was inspired by the real occurrence of chaos and rebellion against an homogenised world, in this way perfectly miming Goldbach´s own artistic mission.
Birds (Left) shows a mesmerizing group of people all alike, seating or standing as if in an amphitheatre and doing nothing except (apparently) staring back at us. As the film evolves, we realize that these figures slowly move, minimally repeating the same gestures at times. The whole scene achieves a nightmarish and completely fictional state for we do not know what to make out of these “horrifying gracious and calm creatures”, as someone already described them, nor are we able to attribute a narrative to the film.
Through digital means and diligent post-production work, Niklas Goldbach builds here a post-apocalyptical homogenised vision in which human beings are to be seen but in which, strangely enough, the “Human Being” is excluded from. Devoid of free will, these figures are not real people for they project nothing but their own emptiness their solitary minimal gestures as if one last residue of humanity before its complete dissolution. This fleeting quality is also mirrored in the birds which quickly move through the scene just before flying away. In this horrifying scenario the individual has lost its sovereignty, reduced in its weakness to a decorative role amidst a chaotic landscape of haunting loneliness.
“Birds (left)” explores some of Goldbach´s typical questions; how an (apparently) real image slowly changes into a ghostly and a rather disturbing one as a way to inquire how utopia always seems to unnoticed give place to dystopia. And how our subjective experience in this process is characterized by feelings of disorientation, melancholy and increasing a-sociality.
In the end we are left with the uncomfortable question: how far can we trust ourselves and our reasons? What will become of the individual in a world which we seem to have sentenced to dystopia? And which role do we play as individuals in this marching state of things?
Niklas Goldbach was born 1973 in Witten, Germany. He studied photography at the University of Bielefeld and ‘Experimental Media Arts’ at the University of the Arts Berlin where he graduated with honours in 2004. In 2005 he majored in the MFA program ‘Integrated Media Arts’ at Hunter College, City University of New York and postgraduated with a “Meisterschüler” degree of the University of the Arts Berlin.
Since 2001 his work has been exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. From November 2007 until June 2008 Niklas Goldbach was artist in residency at “Palais de Tokyo” and “Cité Internationale des Arts”, Paris.