bridge over troubled water

Video DV, stereo 4/3 – 53 min – 2004

Bridge Over Troubled Water is a documentary video made about the German subsidiary of Universal Music established in 2002 in a neighbourhood of East Berlin. Between art an its commodification, between work and music, between office space and different office rituals, between marketing strategies and prospects of lay-offs, between a sales promotion manager, a mail employee, a web designer and receptionists, this film offers a look at the leisure industry and the way in which it marks the bodies of those working in it. The portraits and words of different employees filmed behind closed doors in their workspace bring out different levels of identification with music, work, and the compagny. These portraits are interspersed with the working gesture of some employees and the meetings of others where they work out the "profiling" of "artist", and the various marketing strategies. Different time frames co-exist. Work time and leisure time, stock exchange rates, corny old Pop music, and the time of lay-offs are all contrasted with film time. In a world where everything is just representation and presentation, manipulation and blurring, the length of shots and silences ushers in a distancing and a progressive depletion of the self-representational mechanisms of some of the protagonists and their communicatiom strategies. The length of the film renders the reification of the word perceptible, and, just like music, this flounders outside its own production system. The lift music, in this film, is the words of the employees, both literally and figuratively.



[video stills]

Conversation on Bridge Over Troubled Water [fr]