Felix Ruhofer

‘Backwards & Forwards In the everyday’ – Catalogue text – Felix Ruhofer

The complex social web of personal experiences and public demands the individual is exposed to in various forms in today’s globalised society takes on a tangible form in Charlotte Ginsborg’s films in the form of intensive pictorial language, without ever assuming a judgemental, one dimensional position.

Instead, both in terms of form and content, a lucid precision emerges in Ginsborg’s works, allowing her to present the public and private – beyond all their general codifications – as interrelated, yet tension-ridden elements of post-modern experience. In doing so, Ginsborg analyses the contradiction inherent in a clear oppositional comparison of social, individual experiences with the demands placed o the individual by the workplace in order to negate the notion of a clear separation of the two spheres within the narrative forms of her films as well as in the sentiments they contain. On the contrary, these spheres intertwine in Ginsborg’s work, forming an intimate narrative comprising sketches of life, experiences and an examination of the forces at play in everyday life in a globalised society.

It is precisely through the films’ pared and stringent method of representation that Ginsborg is able to offer a highly sensitive approach to the question of how the two spheres of life should be weighted and the constant state of tension which ensues for the individual attempting to negotiate his position in relation to the public and the private.

In their narrative form, Ginsborg’s films pose a wide range of questions relating to both form and content which appear to be closely linked. It only becomes obvious when engaging with the complex narrative strands that we are dealing with contrived films here: films presented as if they were documentaries but which preside over an obviously intended plot framework, films which refer again and again to the fundamental challenge of positioning the individual in the context of the adversarial public-private relationship. Through the films’ pseudo-documentary style, the narratives of the protagonists and their respective spheres of action gain a presence, allowing them to convey personal experiences and man’s attempt to assert himself as an individual in a globalised society with a strong sense of dogma creeping in. As a result, determining the reality of the characters depicted becomes more difficult for the viewer, pointing us directly to the content of Ginsborg’s art and her clear-sighted examination of the friction between discipline and control, as well as the repeated emergence of a neutral space in which the emotional moments of individual experience position themselves in relation to the ordering overlay of globalised society.