In an indeterminate landscape, mist wafts silently upward. Neither movement, sound nor objects betray the place, distance or time of day. Only after minutes of silence does the first sound suddenly become audible: a slowly swelling drone accompanies a growing shadow. The shadow is rushing ahead of an icebreaker, which finally reveals the material of which the surface is made. This natural drama is accompanied by artificially generated sounds; what we first take to be the noise of the ship is actually an excerpt from Richard Wagner´s music for Das Rheingold, slowed to seven percent of its original tempo.
A pathway has now been cleared in the ice of Quebec St. Lawrence River for a container ship, which quietly bisects the picture in a horizontal line. The smoke from the ship mixes with the mist coming off the frozen water. The ship's brief emergence leaves no trace in the ice that is vaporizing in the sun, which is now finally identifiable as such. With the disappearance of the ship, the silence of the scene resumes. In the endlessness of time, all that is ephemeral and every trace of what has been vanishes as if nothing had ever happened. (Chantal Blatzheim)