Competition for Gusen short film

On 17 January 2014, the artists Tatiana Lecomte and Catrin Bolt won BIG’s artistic competition for the mining tunnel in St. Georgen an der Gusen with their compelling works.

The objective of the competition was to find a concept for an artistic short film that addresses the history of the mining tunnel during the Nazi era. It was a requirement to incorporate interviews with living contemporary witnesses in the work, with the aim of making the historical events real and tangible for viewers.

The judges explained their choice of winners as follows:

“Tatiana Lecomte’s film concept conveys a contemporary witness’s story mainly on an auditory level. A sound artist helps to recreate fragments of the contemporary witness’s memory of the sound environment. This highlights the unique nature of an individual’s fate at an entirely new level of memory. The film counters the silence of the empty tunnel, and the process of remembering is made audible and visible.”

“Catrin Bolt’s proposal involves using three or four infrared cameras to continuously film different views of the tunnel. The cameras are controlled by programmed motion sequences, so that they constantly record a moving image, which can also be viewed online. Excerpts from interviews with survivors accompany the footage. The film will also provide real-time footage of parts of the tunnel that are currently not accessible. The judges were especially impressed by the uniqueness of the idea. The infrared cameras will create interesting aesthetic views of reality.”

Owing to the challenging conditions inside the tunnel, it was not possible to realise Catrin Bolt’s project in a way that was satisfactory for all participants, despite several attempts. We greatly regret this outcome and would like to take this opportunity to again emphasise the high artistic quality of her proposal and her sensitive treatment of the survivors and their stories.