Tiefenschärfe / Depth of Field

Alex Gerbaulet &
Mareike Bernien &

The scene of a crime is still a place. Nuremberg is still Nuremberg, even if National Socialism and the National Socialist Underground (NSU) have cast a dark shadow on the city. In their documentary approach, Bernien and Gerbaulet seek to grasp the complexity of history. They show places connected to the three murders that the NSU committed in Nuremberg between 2000 and 2005 and expand the narrative to include the dimension of the entire complex.

While a narrator outlines the individual fates, gives an account of the authorities’ misconduct, who presumed that the perpetrators were to be found in the surroundings of the victims, and problematizes the ensuing media reports and the stigmatization of the victims as criminals, the German and Turkish languages mingle with Bavarian dialect. Everyday accounts of the victims are juxtaposed with low points in the German history of Nuremberg: » Nuremberg, city of the Reichsparty convention. Nuremberg laws. Nuremberg under attack. Nuremberg process.«

The artist duo unfolds a multiple narrative that seeks to do justice to all dimensions. Media-related, personal, and national histories overlap, just like the views of the city that are shown either directly or as reflections on opaque windows. Tiefenschärfe / Depth of Field thus replicates the structures of the crime on a visual level as well, whose complexity is revealed through the spoken narration circling around the locations. The scenes gradually lead to a picture of a city whose building facades show no visible traces of the violent crimes that took place there. Only the tilting image frame, a central stylistic means, visualizes the disruption of normalcy and the collapse of daily life when violence erupts.

The artistic documentary film is the first collaboration between the two artists and adapts journalistic methods to question historical coherence and continuity. (Jana Bernhardt)

About the video

Title Tiefenschärfe / Depth of Field
Year 2017
Videonale VIDEONALE.17
Length 00:14:30
Format 16:9
Country Germany,
Language German with English subtitles
Courtesy the artists and pong film GmbH, Berlin
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artists

Alex Gerbaulet
  • 1977 in Salzgitter, GER.
    Studied at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, GER, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig, GER, and Universität Wien, AUT
Mareike Bernien

lives and works in Berlin, GER


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