Our experience of the first film is of remoteness and silence: with slight environmental sounds (a breeze whispering past a cave mouth) heightening the overall atmosphere of serenity. We are allowed to sample the spiritual power of isolation that presumably goes with a monk’s seclusion. The title Aus-Höhlen is a pun on the German verb “to hollow out”—a hint that perhaps withdrawal from society is not the simple solution it seems. In the second film, reusing most of the same footage, Spierenburg introduces voice-overs in which the viewer, still seated as if in meditation, hears unseen women—interviewed on the streets of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi—imagining their bodies as dwellings.
Veronika Spierenburg (b. 1981, Switzerland) is a multimedia artist. She studied in Basel, Amsterdam, and London in her early years. Her work is strongly influenced by her travels in Japan, China, Brazil, Mexico, and Georgia. In 2022, she will be artist-in-resident at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
Image: Veronika Spierenburg, still from Aus-Höhlen, 2015. Courtesy of the artist