Sad song

1996, 1-channel video, 3′, 16mm film / in collaboration with Stella Händler / actors: Michèle Fuchs, Jo Dunkel / music: Dunkel & Schmid / camera: Thomas Isler

Sad Song investigates the faces of a couple who seem to be caught in a neither-spatially-nor-temporally-defined situation. The animated images show the tension behind the smiles, hidden under the skin, in the tiniest facial muscles, under the eyelids, deep in the neck. A holding-on-tight to cheerfulness decays into sadness until the facial features slip away. Uncanny feelings shine through the brittle surface.

“Trend: Away from non-signifying formal trivialities, to content, towards an investigation of human existence, the human way of dealing with things: “la recherche de la condition humaine.” In their Sad Song Stella Händler and Max P. Schmid painstakingly sound out this human condition in intervals measured in seconds . A man and woman and the tension of all the tiniest muscle movements. A striking impact upon the eye in 150 single images, the dissolving of the mask of the human face.” [Franziska Trefzer, Basler Zeitung, 25. November 1996]