24’58 on the Way to Dulpokanova
We proudly present the movie 24’58 on the Way to Dulpokanova by Yu Miao.
1. The Space
Heidegger stated, we only can exist “in the world”. If there is no “world”, no being is possible. It means on the one side: we will never break through the horizon of knowledge (the horizon of epistemology, if you prefer this term). But the question that arises is one about this side of the horizon. The question about this world. If we examined it (the world in which being is), we would be able to determine different worlds. A warlike one, a boring one, which is perhaps composed of everyday life. In her movie, 24’58 on the Way to Dulpokanova, Yu Miao explores the possibility of another world. The possibility of a world without communication. And at the same time asks the universal question, in what way the absence of communication possibly prevents the being from being?
2. The characters
But it’s not just the characters. Characters are beings in a world. In Yu Miao’s movie, the lack of communication includes the people around as well as the equipment around. The monitors, the space in which the film is set. The whole world, where beings have to be “in” is constructed without communication. The world. What does it tell us?
In architecture, there is the so-called “International Style”.
On the one hand, we would say that it is meaningless. On the other hand, it reminds me of Warburg’s Mnemosyne album. Of the quintessence of the album. Of the question of how we shape our spaces, how we shape our environment. In Yu Miao’s film, space is deeply human in another way. Because, as I described earlier, she reminds us of humanity. Of what we all have in common.
3. The symbols (the world)
She seeks universalism. Not only in the people, not only in the characters she shows.
The world where no communication takes place, where speechless characters are waiting for a flight to Dulpokanova, this world is a universal one.
As already mentioned, Yu Miao doesn´t seek universalism in terms of Kant. Rather in terms of anthropology. She seeks artifacts, for architecture, for that magical something that is common to us all. And she finds it. The silent world is our world. It´s a human world. And a world constructed by us. By humans.
In this sense, Dulpokanova would be a kind of horizontal Mnemosyne, in which Yu Miao explores what an international, I don’t want to say “impersonal”, but kind of true, style looks like.
In the film, the characters, three young women (but food also plays an important role, language, the alphabet, etc.) move in a silent space that we… yes, would call international, but mean, again, universal. Which is very clean… Almost like a Zen garden. Empty. And full of people. Speechless. This is the world we are in. Without which the being is not.
4. The movie
My concern here is the plot. And about how the film is structured. And it does remind me of the music from Tenniscoats. How are we supposed to portray the lack of communication? Especially since, as Schulz von Thun says, we are constantly communicating even if we don’t say anything. And how to captivate the viewer? Especially one whose attention span of eternally long 3 seconds? Yu Miao succeeds masterfully. Especially at the end of the film. Especially in this world. A world without communication. Our world.
Here you can watch it until 26.02.2023 (external link to Vimeo)
Here you can find more about Yu Miao’s movies.