David Wesemann Text + Film

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Thomas Schütte – Ich bin nicht allein
, documentary film
, 2023
1 / 14
for arte, Corinna Belz Filmproduktion, R: Corinna Belz | Cinematography

For almost two and a half years we accompanied the artist Thomas Schütte and the processes involved in the making of his works with our camera. The immediacy of his artistic practice – its spontaneity and the assured, resolute manipulation of the material – soon proved to be infectious to our way of shooting the film. As much as we welcomed this concentrated method, we wouldn’t have had any other choice, since we saw the individual stages of the artworks exactly once on each day of shooting, before they were transmogrified into their next form, sometimes with heavy tools and machinery, sometimes with only a few touches of the hand.

Not only the sculptures, which appear as almost equal counterparts in between our human protagonists, also the vast array of processes linked to the treatment of the varying materials had a fascinating, at times almost hypnotic quality. When we saw the film without sound at one point in post production, we discovered to our surprise that it loses none of its suspense, even without its soundtrack.
Similar to Thomas Schütte’s work, the secondary title ‚Ich bin nicht allein‘ (‚I am not alone‘), can be read in several ways. One meaning, however, surely refers to the group of people involved in the process, who the curator Dieter Schwarz calls a ‚work family‘, whose combined expertise finds expression in the finished works. And yet the title, just as the titles of the works and the works themselves, keeps its ambiguity – something that is difficult to grasp, that contributes to their allure, and that opens the film to our own personal view on Thomas Schütte’s art.

  • shown at
    DOK.fest München 2023
  • for
    arte
    Corinna Belz Filmproduktion
  • Directed by
    Corinna Belz
  • Cinematography
    David Wesemann

    Jule Katinka Cramer
    Thomas Riedelsheimer
    Hajo Schomerus
  • Edited by
    Rudi Heinen
  • Sound Design
    Robert Keilbar
  • Re-Recording Mixer
    Matthias Lempert
  • Color Grading
    Fabiana Cardalda
See You Around
, music video
, 2022
1 / 13
for Lightning Jules | Producer, Director, Cinematography, Editing, VFX (2d/3d)

This is not a love song. Most sad love songs mourn over their lost loves. So does the voice in ‚See You Around‘, but there is also an awareness that this love is gone, and is not coming back anytime soon. From the very first listen, I liked the levelheadedness, that managed not to sound cold or overly detached. Bit by bit we collected images and ideas to convey this mood, which eventually coalesced into the montage you see in the video.

In the same manner in which the song eschews the conventions of sad love songs, the video resists the customs of its genre. A lot of shots would ordinarily have the protagonists perform the song in picture, although this omission is maybe only noticed at a second glance. Instead, our attention is drawn to the performers’ movements, which take on a stoic quality, and form their own rhythm, intermingling with the rhythms of the edit and the music, invoking the same peculiar type of melancholy that is essential to the song.

  • for
    Lightning Jules
  • Performers
    Lidia Jarecka
    Sebastian Varra
    Demetri Vasilakis
  • Produced,
    Directed &
    Edited by,
    FX (2d/3d)
    David Wesemann
  • Cinematography
    Jan Thierhoff
    David Wesemann
  • Costume Design
    Sophia Spies
  • Color Grading
    Jan Thierhoff
Mesokosmos
, 1 channel video installation
, 2021
1 / 20
for fortyseven | Concept, Director, Animation (2d/3d)

An oval ceiling projection above a pedestal on which our audience lies in a circle, as if encapsulated. A film depicting our immediate perceptual surroundings, to which we are so accustomed, in an astonishing light. Matthias Imdorf’s concept for the room ‚Mesokosmos‘ sounded like an enticing premise for a film from the very beginning. The perspective provided the aesthetic paradigm: an animated ceiling painting, which – much like its unmoving counterparts – would be aware of its spectators looking up, and would have fun with it.

Since the scope seemed too large for a single film, the idea arose to split the spectrum of nature as we encounter it into a kaleidoscope of self-contained, shorter films. We chose the compound eye of insects as our working metaphor, which eventually took on the shape of a fin-de-siècle glass dome, opening our view at first to a mosaic of different skies. Through six of the small windows we embark on a short journey, each one revealing its particular view of the world surrounding us. In this way, we are astounded by our environment not in light of a constructed, all-encompassing narrative, but a multiplicity of vantage points, encouraging us to find our own thread within them.

Boris Blank’s score for the six films running in a seamless loop turns the tranquil moment underneath the dome into an exhilarating audiovisual experience.

  • for
    fortyseven, ThermalBaden
  • Concept
    Director
    Animation (2d/3d)
    David Wesemann
  • Project Coordinator
    Fabiana Dondiego, Erlebnisplan
  • Concept (Scenography)
    Matthias Imdorf, Erlebnisplan
  • Composer
    Boris Blank
  • Additional Animation
    Anina Bruhin, mld
    Peter Arnold, mld
    Gerrit Hecht, SKIM FX
Bewegung & Wandel
, 2 channel video installation
, 2020
1 / 17
for KulturBahnhof Grevenbrück | Concept, Production, Animation (2d/3d)

We merely notice how our entire existence is hurled onto new tracks, that new circumstances, pleasures and hardships await us, and the unknown exerts its eerie allure, at once tempting and distressing. […] The railways are once more such a providential event, imparting a new turn to us humans, transforming the colour and shape of life; a new chapter in history commences, and our generation can pride itself to have witnessed it.

- Heinrich Heine, Paris, 5 May 1843


What is a process? Is a process caused by humans fundamentally different from a process happening in nature without us? When we were asked to create an artistic work for a historic exhibition examining the development of rail travel, we wanted to engage with the effects of human intervention into nature, which are often too subtle, drawn-out or elusive to be immediately apprehended.
The changes in the landscape projected on the floor proceed only gradually at first – compared to their real life counterparts, however, they are sped up considerably. Once we touch the projection, human structures like houses and networks of streets will grow around our hand or foot, with the landscape receding from them. If we wait long enough, the structures will disappear again, and the natural elements will reclaim their space.

Meanwhile, the vertical projection also changes through our intervention. As the restructuring of the landscape intensifies, this other view will dive deeper and deeper into the microscopic processes which were essential to the technical advancements of the industrial revolution, and thus are in part responsible for the changes taking place on the floor.

Together, both projections form a bi-directional time tunnel, decelerating the incredibly quick micro processes, while at the same time speeding up the developments on a larger scale, to bring both to a hypnotic intermediate tempo that we can immediately grasp. At the same time, the causality of our interaction also appears split in two: As we touch the projection, the result of our decision becomes apparent at once. The consequences of this initial act, however, are withdrawn from our sphere of influence, so that all we can do is watch movements and changes on their self-determined paths, eventually, by a long detour, returning to their initial state.

  • for
    KulturBahnhof Grevenbrück
  • Curated by
    Katharina Hülscher
  • Concept
    Media Planning
    Production
    Daniel Hengst
    David Wesemann
  • Programming
    Design - Landscape
    Daniel Hengst
  • Animation (2d/3d) - Micro Processes
    David Wesemann
  • Additional Programming - City Maps
    Abe Pazoz
JSC Ausstellungsdokumentationen
, video documentations
, 2019-2022
1 / 16
for Julia Stoschek Collection | Producer, Director, Cinematography, Editing

The first exhibition which I portrayed in a short film for Julia Stoschek Collection in 2019 was „Horizontal Vertigo: WangShui“, a solo show with a mix of video and installation works. Together with the curator Lisa Long, I looked for the angles that were best suited to convey the narrative quality inherent to the works and their ‚situatedness’ inside the rooms. The spatial aspect of the works quickly took on an important role for the documentation, differentiating them from traditional films.

Since then I created seven more documentations of further exhibitions. I especially like the thorough engagement with the works, which goes beyond an ordinary exhibition visit. Through working on the films I developed a new perspective on the heterogenous positions of contemporary video art. Artists like Meriem Bennani, WangShui or Jeremy Shaw each deal with subjects stemming from personal experience, in a way which nevertheless illuminates their universal, socio-political dimension, and thus allow reference to less recent works of the collection, for instance by Hito Steyerl or Harun Farocki.

  • for
    Julia Stoschek Collection
  • Curated by
    Lisa Long
    Hans Ulrich Obrist
    Rachel Vera Steinberg
  • Produced,
    Directed &
    Edited by,
    Cinematography
    David Wesemann
  • works shown by
    Keiken
    Sophia Al-Maria
    Meriem Bennani
    Jeremy Shaw
    WangShui
Sanity
, music video
, 2020
1 / 13
for Stereo Naked | Producer, Director, Cinematography, Editing

If you subtracted its essential element – continuous lighting – what would happen to the moving image? This question became the initial idea for the music video. As the title suggests, the song deals with sanity, or lack thereof, so we wanted to pull out all the stops as far as the surrealization of the image was concerned. Together with the programmed lighting rig, controlling the interval and location of the flashes, we superimposed Stereo Naked’s two members Julia and Pierce in camera, through the use of a semi-reflective, holographic glass pane. The slow zoom out gradually reveals the setup over the entire length of the video. A lot of the cuts and compositions originated spontaneously throughout the shoot, by the discontinuous lighting synchronized to the songs tempo. While looking through the footage, I found so many of these unintended moments that I started to build small stop-motion-like sequences out of single frames, which further enhanced the dynamic between the edit and the song.

  • for
    Stereo Naked
  • Directed by
    David Wesemann
    Max Walter
  • Produced &
    Edited by
    David Wesemann
  • Cinematography
    David Wesemann
    Stephan Hauptmann
  • 1st AC
    Gerrit Hecht
  • Lighting Setup
    Kai Czerwonka
Wrong Side of the Tracks
, projection mapping
, 2019
1 / 9
for StoryLab kiU | Concept, Animation (3d)

How this curvature was built into the system they can’t explain, it seems to be some inherent feature of the city itself.
- JG Ballard, The Concentration City

Two overhead rails extend into the distance. We are moving along their path, with swift, steady, unrelenting speed.
 The projection mapping which we conceived collaboratively at StoryLab kiU to be shown in the tunnel vault at Rottstraße 5 in Bochum splices fiction with reality on several levels. The train ride is conjured once more in the former railway tunnel, this time in a futuristic garb. For our virtual train station, connecting the different phases of the train ride, we used a 3d scan of the actual vault, so that once per loop, the projection would match the geometry of the room exactly. The barren landscape into which we are launched out of the station is almost devoid of features, except for the giant figures, performing a spectral dance around the elevated railway. The voice-over accompanying the audio track links this oneiric scenery to ‚The Concentration City‘ a short story by JG Ballard. The narrator describes his prolonged journey on a sleeper train, a desperate attempt to find the supposed ‚outside‘ of a metropolis the structures of which seem to extend infinitely into all directions.

Our contribution to the 2019 bobiennale took on the quality of a group improvisation, an audiovisual allegory made to measure for its occasion.

  • shown at
    bobiennale 2019
  • for
    StoryLab kiU
  • Artistic Director
    Harald Opel
  • Concept
    Lennart Oberscheidt
    Kai Czerwonka
    Max Walter
    David Wesemann
  • Animation (3d)
    Lennart Oberscheidt
    David Wesemann
    Martin Kuczera
  • Edited by
    Compositor
    Lennart Oberscheidt
  • Sound Design
    Composers
    Kai Czerwonka
    Max Walter
Die Gegenwart Abbilden
, diploma (written part)
, 2019
1 / 6
Diploma II, Academy of Media Arts Cologne | Author, Book Design

The theoretical part of my Diploma at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne is ostensibly concerned with formulating the conceptual background of a script for a feature film. When the work was done I noticed that I had simply taken every written thing that had interested me over the last few years and woven it into 80 pages of essay. Nevertheless, the text has its own particular structure, establishing the links between its parts and elements – especially in examining the correspondence between Wilfrid Sellars’ analytic concept of ‚picturing‘ and Fredric Jameson’s marxist reflection on the role of the map and of mapmaking.

  • Diploma II, Academy of Media Arts Cologne
  • Author
    Book Design
    David Wesemann
Do You Exist Ms Q?
, VR installation
, 2018
1 / 9
for StoryLab kiU | Concept, Animation (2d), Compositor

The few discernible features of the abstract concrete cylinder around us let us guess at what kind of place we find ourselves in: apparently, we are in a court of law. In witnessing the proceedings, we discover that our protagonist, the enigmatic dancer Ms Q, has to defend the sovereignty over her own body, which following an accident has been replaced almost entirely by protheses.

When translating the Stanislav Lem-inspired story into a VR experience, we soon noticed that our main character’s inner perspective and her past were just as important to us as the grotesque judicial proceedings, and the science fiction themes discussed within them. Thus the idea arose to split up the virtual space into the freely explorable three-dimensional courtroom and Ms Q’s ‚inner world‘, a two-dimensional film which would appear as as a 360-degree sphere around us, once we assumed her position on the witness stand.

I composed Ms Q’s fragmented memories mostly out of material we produced just for the project as a kind of cubist collage, which took its aesthetic cues from the literary and cinematic works that inspired the project.

  • shown at
    Enjoy Complexity 2018
    Places Festival 2018
  • for
    StoryLab kiU
  • Artistic Director
    Harald Opel
  • Written by
    Tobias Bieseke
  • Concept
    Tobias Bieseke
    Lennart Oberscheidt
    Max Walter
    David Wesemann
  • Programming
    VR Design
    Lennart Oberscheidt
  • Animation (2d)
    Compositor
    David Wesemann
  • Sound Design
    Max Walter
Dada Schleuse
, audiovisual installation
, 2016
1 / 10
for Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck | Concept, Producer, Director, Animation (2d)

The origins of Dada are remarkable for a whole host of reasons, not least of which is the prolific output the movement was able to generate from the very beginning. Almost all of the forms that would gain importance in the following decades, and would come to comprise what today is known as modern art, seem to be prefigured in some way in these early works. From pure text to its phonetic, poetic, typographic and indeed graphic reworking, to collage, to collage as costume, and in costume to performance, not to mention more traditional genres like sculpture and painting, no means of expression were left untouched by the movement’s protagonists.

For ‚Dada Schleuse‘ (‚Dada Airlock‘), positioned to lend the entrance to the exhibition a dadaist twist, we wanted to incorporate both the peculiarly playful attitude of Dada, as well as its political dimension, expressed most vividly in the resolute opposition to World War I, at a time when this stance was still far from widespread. The resulting two-part installation fills the concrete tunnel with voices from the epoch, layering them to the point of cacophony, depending on the number of visitors and their position. The projection at the end of the tunnel shows us twelve rooms, one atop another, each exemplifying one of twelve distinctive aspects of Dada around which the exhibition is structured. As we approach the window, the rooms start to move past us like a paternoster lift, and adjust their perspective relative to our point of view. Each room stages its topic – sometimes as a still life, inspired by an artwork from the exhibition, sometimes as a short animated scene, conjuring an inkling of the dadaist spirit.

  • as part of the exhibition
    Genese Dada
  • for
    Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
  • Curated by
    Astrid von Asten
    Sylvie Kyeck
    Adrian Notz
  • Concept
    Directed by
    Media Planning
    Production
    Max Walter
    David Wesemann
  • Programming
    Lars Ullrich
    Oliver Stock
    Utz Stauder
  • Animation (3d)
    Gerrit Hecht
    Sebastian Salanta
    Oliver Stock
  • Animation (2d)
    David Wesemann
Tschewengur
, stage play
, 2015
1 / 10
for Schauspiel Stuttgart | Video

The secondary title ‚Voyage with an Open Heart‘ is maybe the most accurate description of Andrei Platonov's novel, which otherwise defies literary categorization. The novel not only transports us into a world entirely unfamiliar to us – the rural south of Russia at the time of the civil war, 1918; we also see this world through unfamiliar eyes, through the eyes of his heroes, to whom the revolution more or less happens, rather than them taking part in it. The more childlike, almost naive touches of Platonov’s prose, which express his protagonists' longing and helplessness in the face of a new era, easily conceal the poetic quality of many of the book’s passages. In ‚Cevengur’ the feeling of rough steppe grass on bare foot soles intermingles with a utopian, techno-avantgardist consciousness similar to the one found in Dziga Vertov’s films.

Frank Castorf takes on his material in spirited fashion, winding up his cast into revolutionary euphoria and then carrying, sometimes sweeping them on its wave through Aleksandr Denic’s elaborate stage design. Our attention is often drawn from the stage to the two screens integrated into its structures, allowing us to peek into the interiors, and sometimes back and forth, when scenes on stage and scenes inside begin to correspond.

All these elements do not work from a rigid concept devised in advance. Instead, they develop as a kind of ad-hoc composition, in a dynamic between everyone involved in the rehearsal process, actors and director, camera crew and live editing, sound and stage. The resulting collage of literary fragments, stage design, acting on stage, live film scenes, film scenes produced in advance, and some archive material generate a remarkable energy, which nevertheless still captures the melancholy tone that is the essence of Platonov’s book - as in a suddenly quiet moment in which Astrid Meyerfeldt’s Sasha Dvanov asks in a hoarse voice: ‚Could this be a major thing?‘

  • shown at
    Wiener Festwochen 2016
  • for
    Schauspiel Stuttgart
  • Cast
    Sandra Gerling
    Johann Jürgens
    Katharina Knap
    Horst Kotterba
    Matti Krause
    Manja Kuhl
    Andreas Leupold
    Astrid Meyerfeldt
    Wolfgang Michalek
    Hanna Plaß
  • Directed by
    Frank Castorf
  • Stage Design
    Aleksandar Denic
  • Costume Design
    Adriana Braga Peretzki
  • Video
    Live Editing
    David Wesemann
  • Camera Operators
    Tobias Dusche
    Daniel Keller
  • Photos © Thomas Aurin
14/18 Die Welt in Brand
, stage play
, 2014
1 / 10
for Stiftung Zollverein | Concept, Video

Only few places today are able to invoke an association with the time of World War I. The remaining structures of Zeche Zollverein have witnessed this historical period, and became a striking backdrop for the collage of scenes from different sources, 100 years after the outbreak of the war. Still, we did not want to utilize the old industrial site for naturalistic effect. Our aim was rather to contrast it with an abstract element which would lift the different source materials out of their historic contexts and cause them to correspond with each other.

The collaboration between Folkwang University and University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund brought together the disciplines of theatre and film on stage, under the direction of Adolf Winkelmann and Johannes Klaus. The two screens which framed the stage and the actors gave the scenes a distinct form, and provided a continuity between them, while simultaneously serving as a sort of cinematic chemistry set. In this way the method of collage came to permeate all aspects of the production, from the literary sources to the stage and the video work, combining scenes filmed live on stage with archive footage into a kind of associative memory for the voices of the play.

  • for
    Stiftung Zollverein
  • Directed by
    Adolf Winkelmann
    Johannes Klaus
  • Dramatic Advisor
    Gerold Theobalt
  • Concept
    Video
    David Wesemann
  • Live Editing
    Gerrit Hecht
    David Wesemann
  • Camera Operators
    Nick Byerly
    Sebastian Salanta
    Jan Thierhoff
The Rescue
, live action short film
, 2014
1 / 15
BA, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund | Producer, Director, Writer

Only a few pages into the short story with the unwieldy title ‚Luckily the Account Representative Knew CPR‘, the tractor beam of David Foster Wallace’s language had taken hold of me, and would not let go from then on. At the time, a reviewer on the radio compared the intricate construction of Wallace’s sentences to that of a Formula One car, which in his eyes required a comparable amount of attention to be adequately handled.

The peculiar way in which his prose draws us in, is that it first preoccupies the reader with conjuring up images from its meticulous descriptions, but in a second step the amalgam of these takes on a cinematic quality, letting their literary aspect fade into the background. I was curious wether there was a way to reverse this effect, to use the devices of film language in a way that would surreptitiously invoke a literary understanding within a montage of images. For this reason, the adaptation does not contain a single spoken line of dialogue. Solely the heading on the divorce papers of the account representative, as well as his desperate cries for help in the underground garage of the empty office building remain as linguistic fragments from the original text.

  • BA, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund
  • in competition
    Peer Raben Music Award
    SoundTrack Cologne 12
  • Cast
    Christoph Jöde
    Jennifer Frank
    Andreas Beck
    Frank Voß
    Magdalena Stengel
  • based on a short story by
    David Foster Wallace
  • Produced
    Directed &
    Written by
    David Wesemann
  • Cinematography
    Maren Heyn
  • Edited by
    David Wesemann
    Benjamin Lenz
  • Sound Design
    Re-Recording Mixer
    Max Walter
  • Composers
    Pierce Black
    Max Walter
Tannhäuser
, opera
, 2013
1 / 10
for Oper Dortmund | Animation (2d/3d), Compositor

In the character of Tannhäuser, who returns to the world from a stint at Venus Mountain, Richard Wagner interweaves elements of the here and now and the beyond, spiritual abysses of the artist’s soul and secular, soft power events in form of a singing contest, questions of the individual and of society writ large.

These contrasts are embodied in the production by a correspondence between traditional staging and several projection layers. Daniel Hengst’s video work, which I supported throughout the production, draws from a variety of well-known, by now extensively reinterpreted iconography. In this way, ubiquitous christian motifs are reflected through the prism of modern (pop) art, for instance with references to the photography of Gregory Crewdson or David LaChapelle, and thus enhance the Wagnerian discursive space with more ambiguous modern strands.

The video production, accompanying almost the entire 4-hour-opera, utilizes stylistic techniques of collage, reference, distortion and hyperbole, and employs all filmic means available to us, from animation and found footage to material shot with the singers and actors and even to footage shot on the evening of the individual shows.

  • for
    Oper Dortmund
  • Main Cast
    Daniel Brenna
    Christiane Kohl
    Hermine May
    Gerardo Garciacano
    John Zuckerman
    Lucian Krasznec
    Morgan Moody
    Christian Sist
  • Directed by
    Kay Voges
  • Conducted by
    Gabriel Feltz
  • Stage Design
    Daniel Roskamp
  • Costume Design
    Michael Sieberock-Serafimowitsch
  • Video
    Live Editing
    Daniel Hengst
  • Animation (2d/3d)
    Compositors
    Daniel Hengst
    David Wesemann