A subsequent fulfilment of a pre-historic wish
The fortune you seek is in another cookie
“Travelling does not help us much in understanding but it does serve to reactivate for a second the use of our eyes, the visual reading of the world.” – Italo Calvino
Travelling entails a continuous change of perspective through which the world is experienced as manifold and fluctuating. Two films by Johannes Gierlinger relate to this experience. Both start with a question which subsequently directs the filmmaker to various places; answers are to be found nowhere, yet each place presents him with a new facet of the question.
A subsequent fulfilment of a pre-historic wish seeks meaning in the tragic death of the Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta. Gierlinger picks up the significant elements of Mendieta’s art – nature, death, spirituality, ritual – and thus links the fate of an individual to the universal human experience of loss and death.
The essay film The fortune you seek is in another cookie sets forth to explore the question of happiness. This journey leads to diverse places such as a carnival parade, the Gezi Park protests, Fellini’s Cinecittà, the Atacama Desert or a trailer park in California. But it also leads to people, films and memories. Happiness remains an enigma; just like the universe which in this film becomes a metaphor, it has neither a fixed structure nor an immanent value. Even so, the search with camera and telescope continues. The film fascinates with the mimetic quality that the movement of its search displays; it appears as an attempt to assimilate oneself to the object one beholds. Whenever Gierlinger’s gaze turns towards another human being, his search turns out to be not only personal but also a poetic-political practise.
Johannes Gierlinger (b. 1985, Salzburg, Austria) studied digital media in Salzburg and Istanbul and currently at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He has received several scholarship grants and awards, amongst others the Annual Grant for Film from the Federal State Government Salzburg, Ö1 Talentscholarschip for Arts, Docutiff Tirana-Award for Best Feature, Best Experimentalfilm at Backup Filmfestival Weimar. His films have been screened and exhibited at various film festivals and institutions like the CPH:DOX Copenhagen, Edinburgh Filmfestival, Kassel Dokfest, Transcinema Lima, Diagonale Graz, Museum of Modern Art Vienna, Kino Palacio Nacional de las Artes Buenos Aires, Kunstforum Vienna and many more. He lives and works in Vienna.