Honest Lies

Gabriele Stellbaum &

Night-time. Under the electric strip lighting a woman wearing old-fashioned clothes drives an old-timer through a deserted car park, seemingly without a goal. On the back seat sits a young girl. Now and then the driver looks back at her with an expression of concern. The camera records signs which say "one way only" or "no entry". Although the leading lady says nothing, we hear her hypnotic voice: She is letting us listen to her thoughts on morals, responsibility, and the feeling of helplessness of the opposition to an unspecified totalitarian system. The images repeatedly illustrate what she is thinking when long tracking-shots film the endless labyrinth of the car park and her voice speaks about an "architecture of lies".

The flow is interrupted by leaps in time and picture taken outside the car park in a wood or on a boat. An orange-coloured file, which is passed on during secret handovers accompanied by music from a spy film, has symbolic meaning. While the solitary car drives back and forwards on the parking deck, the voice speaks about the possibilities of undercover operations and blackmail. Arrows point in numerous directions, but for her there seems to be no way out of the situation. The viewer is held captive in the woman’s inner conflict and accompanies her on her never ending drive round the park house. But are her stories true or are they perhaps only metaphors for her thoughts? (Kim Mildebrath)

About the video

Title Honest Lies
Year 2011
Videonale VIDEONALE.14
Length 00:09:45
Format 16:9
Country Germany,
Language English
Courtesy the artist and C&H artspace, Amsterdam
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Gabriele Stellbaum
  • 1962 in Berlin, GER.
    Studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg, GER, and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, GER