Ralfs Farben_Hüllenwerk is an immersive multimedia installation by Lukas Marxt and Michael Petri based on the film Ralfs Farben (Ralf's Colors, 2019) by Lukas Marxt. The staging in the exhibition includes objects and digital collages by the protagonist Ralf Lüddemann.
For the 75-minute avant-garde documentary film Ralfs Farben, Marxt worked over a period of five years with Ralf, who is suffering from schizophrenia and lives as a hermit on Lanzarote. The barren dwelling of the mid-fifties man, a former flight instructor, is located near a dam in inhospitable surroundings. Marxt got to know Ralf in 2012, when the filmmaker wanted to face a four-week attempt at isolation on Lanzarote; after a week, he met Ralf, and from then on the fascination for his thought cosmos determined his own work. In the course of the filming in 2017, Michael Petri joined the team as an artistic ›collaborator‹, who also brought a creative counterweight to the constellation of Marxt/Ralf. The content level of the film is dominated by Ralf's statements as voice over and sometimes as text insertions on the film images. The combination of the unfiltered monologues shaped by Ralf's thought constructs with long, aestheticizing long shots creates unusual visual and linguistic poetry and raises both the protagonist's statements and the filmed motifs to a fascinating new level. On a further level, digital collages created by Ralf Lüddemann with MS Paint, so-called ›Tagesschlüssel‹ (Day Keys), and the sound design, a collage of wind noise, electronic score by Marcus Zilz and flute playing, are incorporated. The landscape of the island serves as a counterpart and co-player. Marxt shows, as often in his works, man-made, brute force interventions in nature: in this tableau of wasteland life moves, captured in mesmerizing cinematography. Marxt describes the cinematic procedure: »[...] Ralf thinks in loops, cycles, and ellipses. The disillusionment of the narrative and the destruction of the space-time continuum found their way into the cinematic structure as an expression of what it might feel like when thoughts do not stop and one is isolated in them.«1 The result is undogmatic, it is proliferating, authentic, and always on a respectful eye level with its protagonist – an enchanting experience that is unparalleled in intensity and honesty. (Elke Kania)
1 Announcement text by Lukas Marxt on a postcard on the occasion of the film premiere of Ralfs Farben (Ralf's Colors) at the Locarno Film Festival 2019
Images: Lukas Marxt, Ralfs Farben_Hüllenwerk, 2021 © Lukas Marxt & VG Bild-Kunst