St. Moritz Art Film Festival


Bettina Grossenbacher
16º12’N / 22º51’W

2011 Color PG EN/en 00:09:09

The video work plays with the mysteriousness of dwellings, and this time, the focus is on a ship. With a fixed camera angle the artist filmed the shipwreck of M/S Cabo Santa Maria that ran aground on the Cape Verde Island of Bõa Vista in 1968 and since then ages away. The ship was on its way to South America and all attempts to get it afloat failed. Now the shipping company decided to haul the goods to shore. Soon, however, it became known that Cabo Santa Maria carried far more on board than fertilizer, oil and flour: Four church bells intended for Oskar Niemeyer's new Cathedral of Brasilia were sunk into the sea.

“The slow disintegration of the wreck by the surf is the main motif for a story that develops in the subtitles. The text describes in detail a fight between three men on the bridge of a ship. The image of the surf, which alternates between slow and normal speed, corresponds with the respirations of the recipient, which alternate according to the sound of the waves, if he/she is willing to let in the described story. The motif of the stranded ship becomes a cipher of timelessness, a shell with a secret, known only to a few.”

2011, Text by Sabine Schaschl, director of Kunsthaus Baselland


Bettina Grossenbacher