Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie Stiftung des Vereins der Freunde der Nationalgalerie für zeitgenössische Kunst

#65 Philipp Lachenmann
Space Surrogate I (Dubai), 2000

Videoinstallation, 16 mm
31:30 Minuten (loop)

Philipp Lachenmann
Geboren 1963 in München
Lebt und arbeitet in Köln, NYC und Los Angeles

The “film” shows a hijacked airplane, the “Landshut”, in October 1977 in Dubai where it was waiting for 48 hours with 86 hostages on board before it flew to Mogadishu.
The “Landshut” was hijacked by Arab terrorists in 1977 en route from Palma de Majorca to Frankfurt and was flown to Rome, Aden, Dubai and finally Mogadishu, where Special Forces stormed the plane. The hijackers were demanding the release of leading figures in the Red Army Fraction (RAF). Space_Surrogate I (Dubai) shows the “Landshut” at its stop-over in Dubai where it stood alone on the fringes of the airport for two days waiting to be refuelled. Out of fuel and therefore without electricity for communications, the hijackers were cut off from any contact with airport authorities.

Formally, Space_Surrogate I (Dubai) is situated between a still image and moving pictures. Viewers may believe they are watching an actual film. In fact, the half hour film was digitally composed from a single frame (of an originally seven seconds zoom shot from the Dubai airport tower) which just appears in a continuously modified form.

In the work I was interested in the moment of estrangement that defines the area between “natural” and “artificial” spheres. I also consider Space_Surrogate I (Dubai) as a kind of “reconstruction” of the scene I watched with wonder and soft horror as a young boy, an experience which seemed as irrevocably lost as the footage itself. After all, it is the “internal film” that defines the meaning of all external images. (Philipp Lachenmann)