three out of seven are not afraid



In his video work “Drei von sieben haben keine Angst” Julian Pache shows an initially unspectacular piece of country road. Strange is the town exit sign, which conforms to the German standard in shape, yellow color and transverse red bar, but the town name is missing: the sign is as empty as it is universal. In the video, three different scenes take place on a country road, which Pache assembles into one another with short, hard cuts in such a way that no temporal sequence emerges for the viewer: the individual scenes are fragmented in such a way that they have to be put together in the mind like pieces of a puzzle. We see two men in painter’s outfits driving up in a van, one of them starts to mix paint in a bucket while the other one covers the road with white tape at the level of the town sign, as if he wants to draw a line. In the next scene, three boys playing ball run into the frame, the ball rolls across the street out of the frame, one boy runs after it, the other two stop abruptly at the town sign. In the third scene, an older man in hunter’s clothing appears. He carries a rifle with which he aims at something not visible beyond the town exit sign. It becomes clear: the town’s exit is a border that not everyone dares to cross and behind which undefined dangers seem to lurk. The three individual scenes repeat in slight variations in the approximately 11-minute video, and there are always confusing moments: for example, a scene with a boy who runs into the frame from a different direction than the one he disappeared into in the same take. The most surreal scene is the one in which the town sign suddenly turns as if by magic and the town exit thus becomes the town entrance.

The strength of Pache’s video work lies not only in the analytical treatment of the filmic narrative structure and the deconstruction of the presented space, but also in the creation of a mood: it is precisely those moments in which hardly anything happens that are important. These are scenes in which a peculiar silence prevails, the characters are in a kind of waiting state, borne of unspecific fears and an invisible threat. In a parable-like exaggeration, Pache addresses a social condition that can certainly be found in everyday life in Germany today.

[Wiebke Elzel]

2017 /

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