Documentary · 1 March 2013
Some things need fire to grow and art can be a powerful force changing lives of simple residents. An acclaimed Polish artist Karolina Bregula comments on art, fear of catastrophe and unexplainable events in her new Polish-Norwegian video art project "Fire-Followers" being shot in Bergen this spring. "Fire-Followers" is a fake documentary about Bergen as a quiet city in the Northern Europe being endangered due to its artistic heritage. The idea of the project came last May 2011 when Karolina Bregula was in Bergen at Faggfabbriken for a student exchange. The film revolves around the fact form Bergen's history - throughout the ages the town has burned regularly. In Bregula's film despite of modern methods aimed at protecting the town from fires so that its inhabitants could finally live without thinking that any moment a new catastrophe would appear, the fear has never left them. The whole town is talking about art historians who believe that without fires the progress of art would be impossible. "In their opinion, if the art heritage is not destroyed, the young artists will not be able to work" Bregula explains her concept. "For the historians in my film only fire can help to come out of a deadlock. The residents suspect that the art historians are running a secret organization which aims to set the fires destroying the historical art and so museums, galleries and private art collections are all considered to be in danger" she adds. It is a film about fear and paranoia casting a shadow on a peaceful city life but it can also be read as artist's institutional critique or a reflection on the relation between art and its recipients. Currently the movie is being presented on 55th La Biennale di Venezia.
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