Peter Weiss 1916-1982
Studie II (Hallucinationer) / Study II (Hallucinations) (1952)
(Sweden, 16mm, 6min)

"Studie II (Hallucinationer)" (Study II (Hallucinations)) (1952), comprises twelve staged scenes that were modelled after a set of drawings. Accompanied by metallic sounds, various body parts, limbs and objects form surrealistic collages against the background of a black space. Peter Weiss intended to create associative images that can not be deciphered completely. Beyond any logical interpretation, he wanted to show pure inner feelings. In a conversation with Harun Farocki from 1980, Peter Weiss admitted in retrospect that the images had very well developed a strong psychological effect. Refering to the situation of his exile, he stated that "this had to do with the traumatic as well as dreamlike experience of rupture and alienation." Two years later, in "Studie IV (Frigörelse)" (Study IV (Relief)) (1954), Weiss chose to combine abstraction and real imagery. A male figure moves slowly through different spaces, partly draging his Alter-Ego on his back. In a bourgeois furnitured room, the young man searches through a box full of white papers, while next to him an old couple – mother and father – sits silently at the table. These scenes are intercut with close ups of tools and hands reaching through piles of strings and wires. "Studie IV (Frigörelse)" symbolizes the liberation from the father and the attempt to throw off an old ego or identity. Those subjects of his early short films, produced in a surrealist, if not existentialist vein, parallel Weiss' autobiographical writings throughout the 1950s that, amongst others, resulted in a book later published under the title "Abschied von den Eltern" (Farewell to the Parents) (1961). -- Florian Wüst: