DV-PAL, 11 mins 15 seconds
Set in the UK and Germany, this video work was made during a six-month fellowship at Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral in Bad Ems, a spa town frequented for health reasons in the 19th century by visitors such as Gogol, Turgenev and Dostoyevsky and subsequently a favourite stopover for Hitler during WW2. In tours, Hitler’s presence in the town is largely written out of local history. Coutts wrote the script for Cast, following four obsessive months of reading novels and watching films relating to memory and its erasure, sickness and appropriation. The script appears as subtitling throughout the film combining reenacted scenes from Federico Fellini’s Amacord (1973) and Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia (1971). With excerpts from Jorge Luis Borges’ The Aleph (1970) and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain (1924), Coutts autofictions a story of a woman’s patchy memory of a man losing his mind.
Cast was first shown at Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral (2010) as part of a group show of the eight selected Fellows and was featured and reviewed on the German TV channel Mittelrhein (2010). It was screened in the group show ‘Doris’ at StedeFreund, Berlin (2010) in the group show KM 500 at Künsthalle Mainz and included in Coutts’s solo exhibition, Millions Like Us at Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London (2011). The work was selected for the Salon Video Prize at Matt Roberts, London (2011).
See Coutts’s bookwork Thought Sequence (Argo Books, Berlin, 2011) accompanying the show at Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral.