Public Scenes

Hanspeter Ammann

SWITZERLAND, 2000
27 minutes, stereo
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

‘The title is ironic in that the majority of the scenes are modest domestic portraits (a suburban dinner party, for instance, or a family enjoying a lazy afternoon) where latent emotional tensions only just break the surface – to be intuited rather than grasped directly. It is the recording apparatus that seems to capture these intangible currents and bring them under public scrutiny. Yet the status of what we are seeing remains indefinite, since the camera can also function as a catalyst. Do we really glimpse the inner ‘truth’ of these individuals – or is it merely discomfort at the fact of being observed? A work of structured ambiguity that tests the camera’s capacity for violence.’ – Peter Matthews