film, 10 min.
Time has frozen into a loop in Josef Dabernig
’s film WARS. A waiter, waitress, and cook in a dining car of a long-distance train bide their time, performing the routine of the past that seems disconnected from what matters now and what actually needs to be done today. They appear isolated as no one shows up in need of the services they offer. Independent from and uninfluenced by the reality surrounding them, they appear reduced to the essence of their professional roles, acting like monads in a space entirely devoid of other people. They wait and show no illusions or emotions. Every action seems emptied of any drive yet it is performed nonetheless to the rhythm of the monotonous track and within the defined space and modernist clarity of the train car. Towards the end of the journey they start carrying out the tasks of cleaning up and closing, despite the fact that the restaurant car has seen no guests. There will be a new trip. Nothing will be different, the conditions and prerequisites unchanged, as there remains no challenge to influence them. It seems as though WARS anticipates what has become reality over the last two-odd decades in the West: one gets stuck in the loop of the present that reproduces itself without leading into the future.