THE CONQUEST OF THE USELESS
2014 Video, 7:50min
 


Surrounded by the concrete buildings, skyscrapers and the roaring traffic of Sao Paolo, an image kept haunting me in the midst of this urban jungle: It was the image of a sailing boat equipped with wheels bound northward from the unsettled South of Patagonia. I pictured myself depending fully on the power of the wind while sailing the road up north in the direction of Buenos Aires until the wind would not suffice any longer or the traffic lights and power lines of civilisation and the traffic itself would stop me.

The realisation of this project of pure longing for the freedom in the vast landscapes of Patagonia was difficult from the very beginning. I managed the fantastic task of converting a sailing boat into a Land Sailor in Germany. The project seemed doomed to fail, however, due to the import conditions in Argentina. Despite intense negotiations with local customs officers, importers, and shipping companies, I had to buy a second sailing boat in Argentina and, pressed for time, have it converted.

After two years of intense preparations, the Land Sailor finally hit the roads of Patagonia – my vision became reality. Reality, of course, had some unforeseen obstacles in store, such as the difficulties in obtaining a replacement for a broken axis in this unsettled area. I was determined not to give in, as the project had become my obsession – just like the shooting of the film “Fitzcarraldo” to Werner Herzog, who had a boat dragged up a hill in the Amazonas jungle. In his diary, which was published carrying the title “Die Eroberung des Nutzlosen” (The Conquest of the Useless), Herzog talks about his grim determination to realize his vision and how close he came to failure.

Instead of showing the full collected film material of what actually was one month’s travelling, the video renders a reduced view on a linear slope in front of a stunning mountain panorama. At the flickering end of the slope, the viewer witnesses a sail resembling a Fata Morgana. This sail then  develops into the exact image I had in mind for two years: the image of a sailing boat on wheels, carried merely by the wind, which is slowly approaching the viewer within the vast landscapes of Patagonia.

 

More information about the concept, preparing and realization can be found at:

www.land-sailor.com


CREDITS:     Mit der freundlichen Unterstützung von:


CONCEPTION & REALIZATION
CO-PILOT
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
EDITING
SOUND DESIGN
SUPERVISOR OF SAILING AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE SAILBOAT
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT




LOCAL PRODUCER ARGENTINA



CONSTRUCTION AND ASSEMBLY 1ST SAILBOAT GERMANY
CONSTRUCTION AND ASSEMBLY 2ND SAILBOAT ARGENTINA

BRAKES AND MECHANICS
TURNERY


DANIEL BEERSTECHER
PABLO WENDEL
ERIK SCHIMSCHAR
DANIEL BEERSTECHER
BORIS LAIBLE

MARTIN KAMMERER
FLÁVIA MATTAR
SASCIA BAILER
ANNE RAVELING
VIVIEN SIGMUND
ANGELA MASOCH
NICOLAS DE JESUS
ZELMIRA FRETES
ALEJANDRO GOMEZ
NICOLAS MASTRACCHIO
BERNHARD STING (STING METALLBAU)
MARIANO SIVAK
DIEGO DUBATTI
DIEGO DE SANCHO
OSCAR MARIN
OSCAR MEDORI
LEANDRO MEDORI