anders, Molussien (2012) (differently, Molussia)
“Materialism is a theory of the invisible and is about those who have a material interest in the invisible above them and the invisible below them”, says an industrial worker to his comrade in Nicolas Rey’s splendid 16mm work differently, Molussia (2012). Consisting of 9 segments, apparently projected in a random order during festival screenings, Rey’s film, not unlike Landscape Suicide (1986), is a study of the visible and the invisible that structure a society. What we see in the film are barely inhabited suburbs, industries, woods and farmlands redolent of the landscape studies of James Benning or Sharon Lockhart, which Rey regularly interrupts with unhinged camera movements and abstractions of the visual field. The voiceover, on the other hand, draws from the writings of anti-fascist philosopher Günther Anders and gives us snippets of conversation between two politicized working class men living in the fictional fascist state of Molussia. Rey’s film sets up a remarkable dialectic between the visual and the auditory, in which the seamless veneer of a seemingly unproblematic and utopian world is rent apart by the theories of the invisible unfolding on the soundtrack. The result is a complete overhaul of our relationship with the images, wherein we start reflecting on the political substructures underneath the most apolitical of objects and practices. “Under capitalism, different strands of the economy achieve a quite unprecedented autonomy…The underlying unity, the totality, all of whose parts are objectively interrelated, manifests itself most strikingly in the fact of crisis”, wrote Lukács. The voiceover of differently, Molussia serves precisely to disrupt the appearance of autonomy of what we are seeing, by producing fissures on the surface of visible reality.