Dorit Margreiter


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Grandeur et Décadence d’un Petit Commerce de Cinema


The film and video projection that was created for the Liverpool Biennale, 'Grandeur et Décadence d'un Petit Commerce de Cinéma', whose title refers to Godard, reflects the role of Liverpool as location of the British film industry, particularly as a backdrop for historical films that take place in other cities such as Dublin or Rome. Promio, the cameraman (or so-called 'opérateur') for the Lumière brothers, appears as fictional first-person narrator (with texts written and spoken by Kaucyila Brooke). Having landed in Liverpool en route to Dublin, she reports on her travels throughout the world, for instance to Saint Petersburg and Athens, where she was meant to introduce the 'cinematograph', a mobile unit consisting of camera, developer and projector. The scenes that Promio filmed in the respective cities are shown at fairs, appearing between attractions such as knife-throwing and magic acts in which a woman is sawed in half. It is worth mentioning that the Lumière brothers themselves did not believe in the cinematograph's future. They proceeded from the assumption that people would soon have their fill of being shown things that they could observe themselves every day on the street. Margreiter uses Promio's intermediate stop in order to document the parts of Liverpool that have already served as film sets for movies taking place in other cities. Visible in a rear projection, the recordings correspond with the video documentation of the creation of a film set for a scene played in 1897, the year in which Promio traveled to Dublin. The various settings, in contrast, are filmed in 16mm.
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(excerpt from Sabeth Buchmann 'Eyes On The World', in 'Dorit Margreiter. 10104 Angelo View Drive')


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