Deer in the Park 
2017
Film Essay, 16mm & HD, colour & black-and-white, stereo, 24:24 | Research, cinematography, editing, sound design: Marianna Christofides | voice: Bernd Bräunlich | text excerpts from Bruno Taut's writings
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The film DEER IN THE PARK consists of material from diverse sources that is assembled into a filmic collage. Proceeding from research in the Architecture Archive of the Akademie der Künste Berlin, Christofides combines press photographs, archival material, diverse text passages, music and film sequences taken by the artist at various places around the world. Most of the texts derive from the travel diary written by the architect Bruno Taut during his time in Japan in the 1930s. Forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1933, Taut had himself invited to a lecture tour in Japan. He hoped to be able to travel on to the United States from there, but in the end his stay turned out to be an involuntary three-year exile. Because building commissions were hard to come by, he devoted himself to theoretical writings and a study of Japanese culture. Unable to earn a living as a practicing architect, he designed furniture and articles of daily use.
Christofides’s film essay links his diary entries with visual impressions from Japan on the one hand and with observations of nature on the other, in part stationary as a tranquil and idiosyncratic spectacle, in part as a documentation of the omnipresent threat of earthquakes and typhoons in Japan. Nature also plays a prominent role in the notes made by Taut while in exile. They seem to serve as a familiar reference point for the architect living far from home and also make up the ominous backdrop of his personal and political experience of the world. He found a distinct counterpart image to Nazi Germany in the serenity, clarity, simplicity and aesthetics of traditional Japanese culture that seemed to conform so closely to his own modernistic approach in the concord between nature and culture.
The film DEER IN THE PARK draws on this tranquility to present a morbid and temporally transfigured scenario of the exile experience of geographical alienation. Christofides’s film creates an atmosphere with which involuntary emigration and flight are staged as an intermediate state where world and biography have seemingly been turned upside down.

Baptist Ohrtmann in Marianna Christofides, Parkfield Studies, Temporary Gallery Cologne, 27.05.–30.07.2017