Monstera Leaves Dusted in Red, 2023
Short film 

 10.00 min 

 



 Philip Lüschen (NL)
Visual artist / Scenographer  

 vagueing human-constructed environments through multi-disciplinary work 





 About 





For Monstera Leaves Dusted in Red (to be released in 2023), Lüschen’s eye was drawn to the area under the runway of Funchal International Airport (Madeira) where the island’s towering rock formations and vegetation meet a relatively recent construction. One hundred eighty concrete pillars puncture the ground as a much-needed extension of the landing, helping to facilitate the masses of tourists who regularly arrive on the island. The sharp contrast with nature underlines the feeling of hyper-functionality emanated by the human-made structures.


In Lüschen’s video work, film footage slides smoothly into 3D-modelled imagery, and vice versa. 

A symbiosis in the contradictory landscape occurs when a rotating mountain model lazily engulfs a highway, followed by a real-life recording of a look-a-like structure of the highway pillars protruding from the stone mass. We may wonder whether the second is the programmed result of the first.


Two figures enter the otherwise deserted scenes and march like wind-up toys up and down the road. They seem to lack either care or destination. Security cameras closely monitor their mechanical movements. Or do we see the studio of a film editor, perhaps that of the artist himself? The images are framed by the indications of unidentified computer software or white noise, the disintegrated or yet-to-be-formed building blocks of computer space. Meanwhile, a chorus of construction noise echoes in the background.


3D models of trucks come into view, their driver’s seats empty. In a perfectly synchronised choreography, they open their tail lifts and reveal revolving Monstera deliciosa-plants ready to be sown. In the live-action footage, the plant’s leaves are topped with red building dust. We might experience a world that needs one last clean-up and one final rehearsal: the scene is almost set, ready to discipline individuals who have yet to arrive.


In Monstera Leaves Dusted in Red, constructions of the (built) environment and digital manipulations interact in interplay with each other, via both contents and medium. By alternating concepts of construction, Lüschen aims to provoke an awareness of the constructs that are our own lives. To what extent do the sets we navigate allow us to act authentically?



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