Glückselige Männer, 2016
(Blissful men)
HD film, 12 min 30 sec, loop

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Two men sit back-to-back on two armchairs in the room. Striped carpet lends a formal structure to the room and the occurences within; its linear pattern simulates alignment. It appears as if the protagonists have found themselves sitting in their armchairs on some kind of racecourse. In a geometrically immaculate manner, their chairs sit precisely along the direction of the tracks.

Apart from few small differences, the men are identical. They appear to be natural parts of the armchairs; cushions that have adopted human form. The men appear apathetic and completely mind-numbed. The TV set gives off equally apathetic signals and noises; however, these remain puzzling and abstract. The signals fail to arouse any reaction from the men. At one particular point in time, they lift themselves from their armchairs, without external impulse or discernible reason.

In a state of rapt and blissful ecstasy, they move hauntingly through the room and form strange floral formations. A little later, as lacking in reason as their previous blossoming, they both fall into themselves and sink back into their original positions.

The meaning of the scene remains completely puzzling in its absurdity. Its strength lies in the friction between abstract and concrete emotion as well as in its causal indissolubility. In the course of the film, the dominant abstract form collapses through the anarchy of continuous plot twists of puzzling affects and bodily formations.


The film “Glückselige Männer” premiered on occasion of the solo exhibition ‘Karmakollaps’ at the Georg Kolbe Museum Berlin in 2016. The realization was financially supported by the Georg Kolbe Museum Berlin and the Kunstfonds Bonn.

Performers: Klaus Stephan and Jürgen Verch
Camera/Postproduction: Markus Bühler
Editing: Markus Bühler, Manja Ebert
Sound postproduction: Lennert Hörcher
Set technology: Julian Pommer