Published by Galerie Buchholz, Köln; MUMOK, Wien & Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, 2021, 102 pages (colour & b/w ill.), slipcase, 21.5 × 28.5 cm, English / GermanPrice: €39
Mathias Poledna’s film Indifference (2018) further advances the artist’s ongoing inquiry into modernity’s visual imaginary. The film unfolds as a series of brief, hallucinatory scenes set in the waning days of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the cusp of World War I. It details in elegant restraint the seemingly mundane routine of a single protagonist played by French actor Alain-Fabien Delon. His character – an Austrian officer / aristocrat – is drawn from types common in German-speaking fin-de-siècle literature, as well as from historical dramas and period films produced in the Cold War era. While evocative of the larger backdrop of traumatic modernization and conflict in early 20th century European history, Poledna’s film forgoes a broader narrative focusing instead on the transient and disjointed.