Reynold Reynolds

Six Apartments

Reynold Reynolds, Six Apartments, 2007, 16 mm on DVD, 12 min, video diptych, still, © Reynold ReynoldsThe climate change has arrived, but only few are reacting to it: disregard or ignorance, for which well-paid lobbyists produce arguments, prevail. If no significant proof such as catastrophic events follows the alarming warnings, a post-catastrophic awareness develops in the people that were alarmed before. No-one really wants to know about complex issues such as climate change or debate lifestyles.

It does not matter whether the exaggerated characters in Reynold Reynolds' film Six Apartments already were alarmed. With various different neurotic compulsions or addictions – cleanliness, drugs, collecting mania – these outsiders have retreated to their homes where they lead a banal and self-referential life.

Copyright: Reynold Reynolds, Six Apartments, 2007, 
16 mm on DVD, 12 min, video diptych, still, © Reynold ReynoldsA motorcycle freak playing with his exotic pets in a brightly lit room, a hippie-like young woman throwing up into her filthy bathtub in dim light, a fish rotting away on a plate and an ascetic, cleanly woman nibbling on a dried-up roll in her all-white flat. In another scene, she puts a plastic cover onto a bed or manicures her already well-groomed fingernails with a nail file while the scientific-sounding voice on the radio that is talking about humanity's chance of survival no longer reaches her. The news no longer seems to have anything to do with her life.

Copyright: Reynold Reynolds, Six Apartments, 2007, 
16 mm on DVD, 12 min, video diptych, still, © Reynold ReynoldsWhat does an apartment say about its inhabitants? In the functional rooms of a newly built flat, the rational design of modernism prevails and forces its inhabitants to organise their things. The messy, however, drowns in the collected items; due to the mass of items, it no longer is possible to tell the rooms apart. Manic personal care or absolute neglect of the own body – the displayed lifestyles have turned into extremes and no longer are susceptive to issues of climate policy.

Reynold Reynolds, Six Apartments, 2007, 16 mm on DVD, 12 min, video diptych, still, © Reynold ReynoldsReynolds has already used the tightness of the home in earlier films to show the psyche in terms of space. Without moral intentions and free of judgements, Reynold Reynolds subsequently shows the stations of living, switches from one living satellite to the next in split-screen mode before a narrative theme even has the chance to develop. With matter-of-fact, distanced horizontal and vertical camera rides and fast motion, he avoids any kind of subjective comment. His film is a kind of presentation of social apathy that would remain invisible otherwise. “Apathy as a form of negation” is what Reynold Reynolds is interested in, not a “lesson” for an over-satisfied society. Thus he chose unspecific media recordings on climate change that provided a tone as airy and easy-going as possible. Figures, statistics and other surveys are not part of the film.

Actually, there only are two possibilities to deal with the topic according to Reynold Reynolds. Either your feel the “necessity to act” or you choose “apathy”. He has exaggerated the apathetic characters – modern society caused them just as it caused climate change.

Vera Tollmann
works as a freelance author and curator in Berlin

Translation: Nicola Mahoney
Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V. 2009

    Six Apartments audio track

    Here you find a transcript of the Six Apartments audio track. Sources are English language radio and TV.
    “... there have been so many that haven't really come to fruition.”More ...


    © Reynold Reynolds
    Reynold Reynolds (*1966 in Fairbanks/ Alaska) studied film and photography and was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in New York in 1995. In the course of his work as an artist, which he mainly realises with 16 mm and Super 8 mm material, he developed his own film grammar that deals with transformation, consumption and decay. Reynold Reynold’s works often show extreme physical and psychological situations that automatically attract and frighten its viewers at the same time. He has won several awards at film festivals including the Distinction Award of the Berlin Transmediale 2009 for Six Apartments. Reynold Reynolds lives in Berlin.