Peter Wächtler

For his exhibition at Kunstraum, Peter Wächtler presents Tim and Racky (2011). Set in the fraternity house of Rotterdam’s oldest and largest student association, R.S.V. Sanctus Laurentius, the films characters have been cast from its membership of Dutch students. Within this house different spaces and sites serve as the regular haunts of the young adult subjects; a bar, a café for having lunch and the living room of Tim’s parents.

The acting on display is wooden and awkward (a partial result of not being trained actors) and further exaggerated through the challenge of delivering the script in a language other than their own. Unnatural pauses, mistimed lines, and lacklustre intonation are at odds with the expressive narrative, profound philosophical statements and outbursts of emotional temperament, rendering the cast as vessels from which the words pour: “I’ll let this pain in as deep as possible…this black tar will saturate my guts for ever and ever”

Across the film’s three acts, its eponymous protagonists lament their two and a half year relationship with the assistance of the ‘shit monkey from hell’ as a deus ex machina, ‘The Wrong Woman’, ‘Old Socialist Friend’s From The Past’, Bob, the ‘oracle’ and harbourer of deep feelings for Racky and Tim’s psychopathic father, who each impart their knowledge and wisdom against an occasional soundtrack of Coldplay, stock sound effects, Billy Joel and a 19th century sea shanty.

Wächtler’s films, texts and readings consistently offer elaborate constructions that offer us a well deserved detour from the banality of everyday existence into the fantastical filmic and literary genres of thrillers, B-movie horror, tragicomedy and dark romantic drama. For Wächtler, it would seem, his use of English as a native German speaker is approached as a vehicle to be manipulated.

Curated by Gemma Lloyd

tim and racky, 2011, 59:38 mins will be screened on the hour during exhibition opening times.
Sunday 3 March at 4pm: Peter Wächtler narrates a text with accompanying drawings at Cubitt Gallery.

about the artist:
Peter Wächtler was born in Hannover in 1979 and now lives and works in Brussels. Recent solo exhibitions include B.A.C.K., Ludlow 38, New York (2013); Studium Maximum, Reisebürogalerie Diko-Reisen, Cologne (2012); Das Kino im Alten Mühlenviertel, Lars Friedrich, Berlin (2012); The Set, Etablissement d’en Face, Brussels (2011); New Album, SIC, Brussels (2010); Sustainability, Elisa Platteau Gallery, Brussels (2009) and Songbook, kunstraum muenchen, Munich (2009). Selected group exhibitions include Un Scene II, Wiels Centre d‘art contemporain, Brussels (2012); Melanchotopia, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Beginning Good. All Good, Basso, Berlin and Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; and Acts of Refusal, Arthouse Tartu, Estonia (all 2011).
He is co-founder of the exhibition space Sotoso in Brussels:


download exhibition text

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