On days that I would like to get out and be inspired by art in person, but the baby is not wearing his sociable face, I will revisit my favorite works of art seen in days past.
I saw Mariele Neudecker‘s Winterreise (A Winter’s Journey) at Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin in 2005. Projected large on the wall in a dark room, Winterreise is a series of 24 short films with music. The films correspond to Schubert‘s 24 songs in the song cycle also titled Winterreise. Schubert’s 1827 Winterreise sets to music 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller.
In Neudecker’s Winterreise, Schubert’s song cycle, with voice and piano, plays on a loop along with the film. Müller’s poems float as English text over slowly changing imagery. The film uses scenes of landscape and life on the 60th degree of latitude on the globe. Winter. Iceland, Russia, the Shetland Islands. Sometimes the images mirror the poems in content, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the images breathe contemporary content into the poems, striking and perfect. There is the feeling of being held in suspension between the old and the new, with the combination of the old music and the new medium of video/installation. They go beautifully together.
I sat through the whole cycle with eyes like saucers, in disbelief at how perfect it all was. Then I came back the next week and sat through it again, taking pictures of each scene. I wanted to have something to remember it by.