Britt Hatzius

Britt Hatzius

In her practice, Britt Hatzius investigates our changing relationship to media and technology, exploring ideas around language, interpretation and the potential for discrepancies, ruptures, deviations and (mis-)communication.

Britt Hatzius (UK/DE) works in film, video, sound and performance. Her work has been shown internationally at performance, film, media arts festivals and institutions including Bozar (Brussels), VIA (Mons), Mois Multi (Quebec City), Ruhr Triennale (Germany), GOMA (Brisbane), FIBA (Buenos Aires), PUSH (Vancouver), PS122 (New York), Culturgest (Lisbon), Contemporary Arts Centre (Cincinnati), Time Based Arts Festival (Portland), Belluard Bollwerk International Festival (Fribourg) and International Film Festival (Rotterdam). She completed a degree in Fine Art Media at Chelsea College of Art London in 2002, an MA in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths University London in 2005, where she teaches on the MA Studio Sociology and has worked on research projects within Studio INCITE (Critical Enquiry into Ethnography and Technology).

Projects include audio-visual installation ‘In Order Not To Be There’ (2017), audio-performance ‘Blick Auf Das Bewegte Bild’ (2017), performance ’Blind Cinema’ (2015), site-specific installation ’As Never Before, As Never Again’ (2014), and cinematic installation ‘Micro Events’ (2013).

In Order Not To Be There

HD Video / 13:00 min / 2017

An audio and 16mm film performance installation for old cinemas, originally created for Paignton Picture House, Paignton, UK as part as part of The Tale commissioned by Situations and presented alongside artists Ingrid Fiksdal, Ellen Gallagher, Chris Watson.

The soundtrack was created in collaboration with children from local primary school (aged 9-11). Heard on headphones, the binaural sound recording playfully reflects on an illusion of presence: chatting amongst themselves about a cinema of the past, present and future, the children’s conversation shifts into an imagined virtual world, where the make-belief of this digital immersion meets the physicality of analogue film.

Direction / concept – Britt Hatzius
Starring – Brandon, Allanah, Rohan, Millian, Grace (Curledge Street Academy primary school, Paignton)
Sound recording / design – Jay Auburn (dBs Music)
Sound postproduction – Tugkan Mutlu

Blind Cinema

HD Video / 01:00 min / 2017

01:00 min excerpt

In the darkness of a cinema space, the audience sits blindfolded. Behind each row of audience members is a row of children who in hushed voices describe a film only they can see. Accompanied by the soundtrack (which has no dialogue), the whispered descriptions are a fragile, fragmentary and at times struggling but courageous attempt by the children to make sense of what they see projected on the screen.

Based on the method of audio description, “Blind Cinema” as a live event is an experience where the act of watching a film becomes a shared investment: A collaborative and imaginative act between seeing children and blinded adults. It embraces the fact that the act of trying to find the right words to describe (even if at times being ‘at a loss for words’) and of trying to hold onto the consequently unstable images created in the mind’s eye, will always only be an approximation. To articulate in words in order to share experiences involves a struggle, a struggle that seems to be closest to those in the midst of discovering language’s potential and limits.

In focusing on that which lies beyond the sense of sight (leaving the illusory reality of cinema to re-enter that of the imagination), the attention oscillates between each shared but internal world guided by the whispering voice, and the shared physical space of the darkened cinema.

Direction / concept – Britt Hatzius
Dramaturgy – Ant Hampton
Film – Britt Hatzius, Simon Arazi, Maxim, Boris Belay
Technical design / production – Maria Koerkel, Geert Aertsen, Katja Timmerberg

As Never Before As Never Again

HD Video / silent / 11:15 min / 2014

Video and 16mm film as part of a site-specific installation at Dahlem Ethnographic Museum Berlin, commissioned by Humboldt Lab Dahlem, including 3D powder printed copies of original objects in the collection positioned opposite their originals.

The replacing of the visitor’s usual (frontal) viewing position with a 3D replica becomes a staging of what looks like a strenuous effort by the figures and their replicas to comprehend each other and the situation they find themselves in: a tense moment of mutual bewilderment between ancient and ultramodern. As spectators, we find ourselves outside this dialogue, and yet at the very centre of the conundrum: for us, the unknown goes both ways, into both an unknown past and a unknown future – forcing us to think about how our views, uses and values of material objects might change (both within and beyond the context of museum display), as we move from one form of mimetic reproduction to another.

The video (left) shows a selection of Museum objects/ figures being scanned, the 16mm film (right) captures a printed figure being ‘excavated’ from the 3D powder printing chamber by a lab technician using a vacuum pipe and brush. Following the original’s first emergence from the earth and kiln, as well as their second (when discovered and excavated in the late 19th century) it’s hard not to see this moment as a third – a futuristic, white on white, dream-like re-enactment.

Concept – Britt Hatzius and Ant Hampton
Direction film / video – Britt Hatzius

Micro Events

HD Video / 01:00 min excerpt / 2013

“Micro Events” is a series of cinematic experiences for one person at a time, each comprising of a table, a microscope and a small mechanical stage. A soundtrack accompanies the partial view onto tiny fragments, remains and broken pieces, leading you through a maze of detailed descriptions, questions and unstable verifications.

Created in collaboration with Tom Kok.