Undine Sommer

Visual Art ︎︎︎

Riding Home

What you see in the image is an uneventful ride through a forest at dusk, but what you see through the text is the remembrance of a lecture by theorist of photography Ariella Azoulay, the mass rape of German women after WWII, an encounter with a psychotherapist, a woman locking the doors of her home.

Searching for ploughed soil at sunset

for my film shoot the next day.

Enjoying the ride along the muddy fields,

greeting horses along the way.

I see a stranger with a wheelbarrow in the distance
walking towards me.

Magically, he turns away.

I pass under the bridge.

I don’t take a right along the autobahn ramp.

The lecture of theorist of photography
Ariella Azoulay comes to my mind.

She could not find any photographic evidence from the mass
rape of German women after WWII.

I think of my grandmother.

Magically, the camera helps me get through
the woods at night

I think of the brief encounter with my therapist,

how she asks me about my chances of being raped.

Even though I am creeped out by my neighbor when
I walk up the stairs—100 % of the time—

even though I lock myself at home and am never
fully at ease after sunset—100% of the time—

even though I close every single roller shutter at my
parent’s home when I am alone, lock every door,
close the lights and hide under the covers—
100% of the time—

I say 5%.

She calls my estimate unrealistically high.

Magically, I meet a fearless woman at the end,
recording with her phone.

video. hd video 16:9. Colour & sound. One channel. 3:44 min. braunschweig. 2018.

Writer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Sound Design: Undine Sommer

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery,
Montréal, Canada

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