Jem Cohen
USA 2007
1 min

It is often said that a city can have many faces. And that it all depends on where one is at the time, downtown or on the periphery, caught in heavy traffic or visiting a park, high above the rooftops or perhaps below the ground. The image of any city is composed of countless individual images, of accidental snapshots, preconceived perspectives and unwelcome irritations.
In A Tale of Two Cities, Jem Cohen, who for more than twenty years has been building a steadily growing archive of various city views, street scenes and portraits, has connected images from his hometown of New York and of Vienna: these pictures of the two cities, which at first glance do not construct a context, create a literally new perspective. Increasingly, the obvious and well-known differences in the architecture and streets are neutralized; the locations - an empty stairwell here, a busy street there - exchange shape and quality.
The more similar the mostly nocturnal images become - for a moment the long history of the two cities becomes one that they share in common - the more urgently the white, lifeless faces irritate us. Filmed at Vienna University's Anatomical Institute, the dead eyes of Vienna stare back, as silent witnesses, at the viewer.

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  • Andy Moor
  • Jem Cohen
Jem Cohen im Auftrag der VIENNALE Siebensterngasse 2 1070 Wien T 1 526 59 47

Sixpack Film Neubaugasse 45/13 1070 Wien, T 1 526 09 90

VIENNALE Siebensterngasse 2 1070 Wien T 1 526 59 47
35 mm
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