16 mm film projection,
5 min 53 s loop
The film unfolds in the lobby of an office building in the Pärnu KEK Construction Company’s housing and industrial complex (built in 1969). A slow tracking shot carefully studies the materials used in the interior of the building and eventually reveals an indoor balcony lined with two white concrete beams. The camera’s slow tempo lets the building elements ‘float’ in the everchanging perspective, eventually transforming them into mere geometric shapes. This effect—the blurring between realism and geometric abstraction—is enhanced in the second part of the film once it becomes apparent that the staircase and balcony are being depicted upside down.
“In his new work Red Bricks, White Beams (2018), the camera eye gently pierces into the space of an office building on the Pärnu KEK complex built in 1969. Carefully and cautiously the camera advances into the building’s staircase. We start with a still life of chrysanthemums and, caught in Kuimet’s loop, come back to the bouquet of flowers infinitely. We wander along a red brick wall, gaze into the elevated balcony in front and just when we hope to go deep into the belly of the building, Kuimet’s camera eye retreats. It is this denial that makes the lower floor of the building not only interesting but even uncanny. One wonders what might await us down there. Looking closer we realise that many things are out of joint: every second time we peek around the corner, the inner world of the building turns upside-down, literally. It seems like an intensification of Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons etchings – those breath-taking insights into subterranean vaults from around 1750. Yet, as a filmic work in space, Red Bricks, White Beams also relates to the infinite loop of the machine and the endless rattling of the 16 mm projector that appears in so many of Kuimet’s works. It is in the denial and the recurring retreat that Kuimet also suggests some form of failure of systems: one never gets to the promised land but remains stuck in a loop and in repetition.”
– Nico Anklam, Paul Kuimet’s Five Volumes. Introduction text to the exhibition Five Volumes at Narva Art Residency, 2018