17 min, DCP, 3:4
Museum depots are places where things are kept out of sight, but also protected from all-too-schematic historical judgments. In Never Come Back film, Gruber continues his ongoing investigation of the backstage areas of art institutions to engage with Neue Galerie Graz’s holdings. In the cage-like space of the repository, we see a naked musician working intensely on a composition. He is inspired by artists who belong to a gray area between modernist aspirations and enthusiasm for Nazism, and whose works combine a taste for the exotic with local patriotism, religious fervor, and eroticism.
Our mysterious protagonist tentatively plays a familiar melody. It's a song known to many of us, recognisable from dance floors across Europe - but how many of us have ever bothered to listen to its remarkably imperialistic lyrics?