The medium of video forms a central element in Søren Thilo Funder’s art practice. For a number of years he has explored power relations in modern society in visually compelling works that draw on the formal and narrative traits of feature films.
But in Thilo Funder’s works the storyline is minimised and the camera movements lingering, making the cinematic scenes condensed and poetic. The works are often based on extensive research, and address issues like international politics, economics, surveillance, collective memory and forms of resistance, through which the artist probes the relationship between the individual and community in the contemporary political landscape.
The pivotal point of Søren Thilo Funder’s solo exhibition You’re Gonna Die Up There is a new video work in which the history of film and Cold War symbolism are interwoven in the story of an astronaut who is afraid to travel into outer space. Inspired by the fictional character Captain Billy Cutshaw – who first appeared in The Exorcist (1973) immediately prior to a space mission, and later as a patient in a mental asylum in The Ninth Configuration(1980) – the work orbits around what happened to Cutshaw between the two cult films. In Thilo Funder’s version, the captain meets his alter ego from the future when driving through Washington DC. Against the background of this meeting, the work reflects on the psychological but also social and societal implications of space travel. Because what is progress – and for who? And why does Billy Cutshaw refuse to go to the moon?