Once Upon a Time
Corinna Schnitt, 2006, 25'07''

Unable to play video - your browser does not support any of the available video types.


In a living room, a camera is slowly turning round, just about thirty centimetres above the carpet. There is no-one to be seen. A cat suddenly appears and moments later a second one enters the room. A dog drinks water from a fish bowl, a bird joins the assembled company, a rabbit hops in, a goose waggles its way among them, somewhere a pig is grubbing about, a goat, a lama, there is no end to it. Gradually the room is filling up with more and more animals which are sniffing at each other, startling each other or munching on a house plant together. In the intro to 'Living a Beautiful Life' (2003), an earlier work by Corinna Schnitt, we saw all kinds of very young children sitting, lying, walking and playing naked together in an idyllic landscape. The religious r romantic association with a primeval world in which living creatures would once have co-existed, also emerges from 'Once Upon a Time'. The natural habitat in which these animals once lived has been replaced by the interior of a house. Does the word 'natural' have any meaning left in connection with animals that, in our culture, have practically all been domesticated? They are simply pets and domestic animals, so they are not really out of place here. As is often the case in Schnitt's work, here too, it seems to be about the artificiality or neurotic quality of human behaviour and the problematic contrast between 'nature' and 'culture'. Although man is absent in this work, in that absence he is still part of the representation. Observing these animals that will not often be found together in this sort of setting easily makes one think about how we would behave in this kind of room. Netherlands Media Art Institute, Esma Moukhtar Read more...

  • Date: 2006
  • Length: 25'07''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: discourse / essay
  • Keywords: culture, everyday life