Work Song – As Time Goes By, 2016
Musical Film, 70 min, full HD, stereo
Edition of 10 + 3 AP
From an interview with Helene Romakin:
[This] work is the final product of an idea I have already started to work on in Rome in 2013. “The Work Song Musical” was a live presentation in a theater and then, I realized a second version in Berlin. While all versions differ formally from each other, they all have the subject “work” in common. In all versions I ask about alternatives in life and how individuals deal with time and money and how these basic issues influence their lives.
“Work Song – As Time Goes By” is a fictional musical that represents an auditioning situation, a casting for a musical. All participants are applying for a role in a musical but it is also a bit like applying for a role in life. It is about asking yourself what you want to be. An architect, you could be a poet, an actor, if you want to be a man instead of a woman and vice versa… These are little and big roles in life. In a way the set works as a metaphor of life compressed into a musical. Depending on the candidate and the role he/she has applied for, I chose a specific song to be performed. For the actress who is applying for a role as a man, I interpreted the text from the autobiography of Nico (Velvet Underground) and updated it to the contemporary context. Another actor is being cast for the role as an architect. Here, I chose an extract from “Walden” by the philosopher Henry David Thoreau from 1854. In this text Thoreau asks how you can live within a society with such rigid and hardened systems or further, how you can escape the status quo? In his life, he decided to exclude himself from the civilized society and to live alone in the nature without money and by avoiding the Industrial Revolution. It was his form of protest and critic on the government. In some parts of his writings, he also talks about architecture and building cities, the structure of life and time as well as how we allow to be organized by it.
[It's] not a musical in that sense. There won’t be a dance choreography but the casting process builds its own choreography, of course. In creating this moment, I was inspired by the movie “Taking Off” by Milos Forman from 1971, where he shows pictures of a casting situation. Coincidently, it is also a film about teenagers of the Hippie Generation, their intent revolution against the parents. The situation is very funny since it was a “real” casting where the participants believed to be cast for a real music production.