If our contemporary culture had to be summed up in one word, it could be: irony. Irony can be as liberating as it´s enslaving. It reveals illusions but can also easily lead to a dead end, where everything is sad because everything is funny, and everything is funny because everything is sad. This dialectic got obvious once again in the first block of Norient Musikfilm Festival, in which two cutting edge artists showed their idiosyncratic interpretations of our troubled times.
In the movie «Hot Sugar Cold World» featuring the US-american musician Hot Sugar, irony was present at any time. Surrounded by trashy fake aquariums and nostalgic cuddly toys in his New York City homestudio apartement, the twenty-something creates melancholic yet blurry instrumental hip hop made from his vast archive of self recorded samples made from anything - from the silence of a room with a dead body to firecrackers in an abandoned factory building.
In combination with the scenes about Hot Sugars private and emotional life, which appeared to be completely outsourced to the cold-hearted surfaces of social media, the movie turned out as a witty but also depressing portrait of what it means to be an artist in the 21st century that is stuck between a poorly-executed-bohemia-lifestyle and the vicious circle of favouring the online self over the physical one.
Two hours later the lithuanian musician J.G. Biberkopf did something totally different. His audiovisual live show «Ecosysmtes of Excess», a delicate combination of noise, ambient and musique concrete, which went along with stroboscope flashes and videos showing different non-places of south east asian metropolises, stayed as abstract and alienated as the fluidity of our existence can be. Here irony was never really present, but very strong in terms of its absence.
After some cathartic hours of audiovisual immersion the music shows of the south african rapper Dope Saint Jude and Berlin based dj Dis Fig were as refreshing as a cold mineral water in the desert, or no: a warming tea after an exploration to the North Pole.
While Dope Saint Jude´s show rapped about the politics of gender bending, Dis Fig´s hyperenergetic DJ set ranging from footwork to jungle teached the euphoric dancers about the politics of the body.
Text: Philipp Rhensius
Photos: Karin Scheidegger