Martin Skauen

The Polar-Bear Split – A Handmade Musical, 2006, is a large-scale drawing (600 x 80 cm) and a film (6 Min.) by Martin Skauen, a work that comments on civilization. The film begins with the part of the drawing depicting one half of a polar bear with a cut through its torso and ends with its other half, or vice versa. The film strongly indicates the vice versa state of the drawing – the looping of the moving image creates a vicious circle, which actually has no beginning and no end. The film not only investigates the possibility of transforming two dimensional space into three dimensions, but also the possibility of attaining movement in two dimensions. The camera moves through the details of the drawing and creates a narrative for the audience. Movement in the environment and of the figures in the film is attained through the movement of the camera. Meaning and emotion are created through the blurring and sharpening of the camera’s focus on the drawing. The layer of emotions is supported by the voice over / soundtrack that is specially composed for the film by Skauen’s band Det Svenska Folket. The soundtrack defines the states, circumstances and events and their interrelation. Skauen touches upon various phenomena of civil society, such as religion, honour, crime, violence… And all these aspects of civilization are put into a festival-like atmosphere. The joy is embedded in crime; the loss is embedded in transformation, the end in a beginning. Through all these, Skauen sketches out a pessimistic view of the future, the future of today, the future of us and what is all around.

Martin Skauen produces ephemeral sketches of scenes that bring together his world of imagination. His large-scale drawings are highly detailed and underlined by the films he makes out of the drawings. It all fucking fits, the death of a toastmaster are the other two works that Skauen has produced films on, both with specifically composed music.

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