Tom has left his wife and is spending the night in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, far from his old life. The breakup is recent and he spends his time dictating voice messages to his cell phone that he can’t send because he has no signal. So he delves into an imaginary colloquy with his lost companion and watches as his world unravels. Beneath the starry sky, he begins to harbor doubts about the order of the universe. Tom is a conservative white macho family man from the 1950s, yet suddenly it is no longer inconceivable to him that everything might be different: that time itself might end and with it, life and even the sky above him. As he envisions the civilization he has left behind relapsing into a medieval way of life and feudalism, he suddenly becomes the protagonist of a new future in which utopia and dystopia coincide. His mind and body are ready for the great metamorphosis: “There is no law above our laws that forces them to persist.” Yet before the vast event that will void all rules, transform everything, and put Tom in touch with eternity can even commence, it is disrupted by an explosion. A stone’s throw away, Isa blows up the eye that revealed her actions to an anonymous power, finally breaking free from its grasp.
Isa’s and Tom’s stories are contrasting paths toward emancipation in a paradoxical world. It is a world in which different trajectories of time, conflicting values and judgments, the real and the imaginary, intimacy and universality, power and impuissance, reason and randomness coexist. The subjects embroiled in the plots are their parallel manifestations. The trope of the king’s two bodies recurs as a symbolic synthesis that embraces the incompatible and sets it out in the form of two neighboring projections in the room we inhabit. Moser’s and Schwinger’s double film occupies a precarious intermediate position also in terms of form and genre: between standup comedy, TV serial, stage play, and the aesthetics of the cinema, with interspersed crime thriller, action movie, and documentary elements. Jokes elicit no laughter, dialogue goes unanswered, the absurd passes for perfectly normal. The artists lend a tangible and contemporary meaning to the concept of incommensurability. It is when the run of things is not constrained by a single logic, when places and subjects bear contrary identities, when rational discourses integrate the irrational, when the yearning for freedom can attach itself to very different objects, when things may happen that make no sense – and yet are true. The work casts all these into a narrative and aesthetic structure without resolving the tensions that weigh on thinking and action today.