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The fine line between storytelling and visual art: Films by Diek Grobler

Apart from the company’s short films and commercial work, Diek Grobler creates films which are closely related to his fine art practice: films which are non-narrative, or in which the narrative is disjointed or non-linear. Grobler often utilises imagery from his paintings or scraperboard drawings. The films are melancholic and surreal, and often explores recurring themes in the artist’s work: man at the mercy of his emotions and his environment. The first two films are from a planned series inspired by the pianist Wessel van Wyk’s renditions of piano compositions by various composers.

Bee’s Wedding (2007) with the music by Felix Mendelssohn, uses the opus 67 no.4, and the visuals are inspired by the piece’s popular title. Using a collage technique and a process of doodling, Grobler created a playful film with swarms of bees, a bride in a beekeeper’s veil and the matrimonial union of a bee and a flower.

filmstrip
FRAME FROM Asturias by Diek Grobler

In Asturias (2007) named after the opus 232 no 1 by the Spanish composer I. Albeniz is a melancholic film on a theme Grobler has been working with for some time – the helplessness of man against the forces of destiny. In the film a storm is depicted and how it travels through the landscape, scattering traces of human existence.

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Two Men Hanging
TWO MEN HANGING FROM Asturias by Diek Grobler

B (2008) is a film about spiritual dislocation, about being at odds with one’s environment, both physically and emotionally. The title refers to both ‘to be’ – the state of existing, and B as a movie grading, referring to films of lesser quality, usually due to a bad script, acting and production values. In “B” multiple visual styles are used, ranging from still photographs to charcoal drawings, without any attempt at visual continuity. To further explore the motif of the b-grade movie, this film uses a hodgepodge of ‘B’-grade themes: thriller, disaster and alien abduction.

B Film
'B' : play clip  >

“B” was first exhibited in October 2008 at the Fried Contemporary Gallery, Brooklyn, Pretoria. Music in this film is also performed by Wessel van Wyk, and sound design by Charles Badenhorst.

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Komposisies vir Klavier

Diek Grobler stal vanaf 31 Augustus 2007 twee nuwe geanimeerde films, sowel as skilderye en digitale drukke in Gallerie Chaton, Pretoria Kunsvereniging uit. Die films is die eerste twee in ‘n beoogde reeks gesinspireer deur pianis Wessel van Wyk se opnames van klavierkomposisies deur verskillende komponiste.

Byebruilof met die musiek van Felix Mendelssohn, gebruik opus 67 no.4, en die visuele material is geinspireer deur die stuk se populere titel. Dear die gebruik van n collage tegniek en n doodling proses, skep Grobler n speelse film met swerms bye, n bruid in n byevanger se sluier, en die uiteindelike huwelik tussen ‘n by en ‘n blom.

In Asturias genome na die opus 232 no 1 deur die Spaanse komponis I. Albeniz is ‘n melankoliese film op n tema waarmee Grobler reeds n geruime tyd werk – die onmag van die mens om himself te verweer teen die magte van die noodlot. In die film word n storm uitgebeeld wat deur die landskap beweeg en tekens van menslike bestaan rondslinger.

Stil beelde uit die films is geneem as vertrekpunt vir die skep van klein vierkantige doeke waarin die temas uit die films verwerk en uitgebrei word. Die uitstalling wys gevolglik twee kante van Grobler se styl: Speelse, kleurvolle visuele eksperimentering met media, sowel as stil poetiese werk.

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top  Updated 12 January 2009, www.fopspeen.co.za, editor: Diek Grobler

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