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Events 2013


Cecilia Nygren
My Dreams Are Still About Flying

Opening: February 6, 2013, 7 p.m.

In a collage of intimate interviews, archive material, and dreamlike passages the Swedish artist Cecilia Nygren captures the story of the Swiss ski jumper Walter Steiner.

To some extent My Dreams Are Still About Flying resembles a documentary portrait; but just as much as the film is following the main character, the character follows the film. While his stories form layers between photographs of landscapes and surroundings, as well as elements of structuralist film that emphasizes film as an inscription field for movement and time, My Dreams Are Still About Flying stands out as a contemplation on what a film document is, rather than a story of one person’s destiny.

Once upon a time Walter was a successful Swiss ski jumper, as well as the object of Werner Herzog’s Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner (1974). When he shows up in Nygren’s film he has landed after the dramatic flying scenes, working as a janitor in Falun. His flight to the skies is juxtaposed with the horizontal confinement of life on earth, and Walter spends most of his time cross-country skiing. We never really find out what has happened in between the movies. Instead, Walter talks about the colors of the church benches he paints, the significance of the Alpine landscape, his attitude towards ski jumping, and his dream of flying. In contrast to this dream, his attempts to get the right colors or the perfect glide reflect his earthly dreams, a relationship between verticality and horizontality that Nygren’s camera recurrently thematizes as determining characteristics of the image plane.

An inevitable question is how Nygren’s film compares to Herzog’s movie. Obviously, it led Nygren to Walter, but after meeting him, questions concerning the status of the film document seem to have prevailed. But not as a film about or a reproduction of Herzog’s film. Instead, My Dreams Are Still About Flying depicts the conditions for letting a character from one movie show up in another. Lastly, this means relating to what cannot be shown – life at the side of film, the passage that in Walter’s case seems to lead from the flight of ecstasy to the stroll of memories. (Fredrik Ehlin)

Cecilia Nygren, born 1980 in Skurträsk, lives and works in Stockholm. www.cecilianygren.com

Exhibtion view Salzburger Kunstverein 2013

Exhibtion view Salzburger Kunstverein 2013
Photo: Andrew Phelps, (c) Salzburger Kunstverein

Cecilia Nygren, My Dreams Are Still About Flying, 2012, film, 
31 min 17 sec, filmstill