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Red Bricks, White Beams

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.

Cinematographer: Alvar Kõue
Gimbal operator: Jaan Kronberg
1st AC/Focus puller: Martin Venela
Dolly grip: Alexander Bertil Tarbe
Postproduction: Denis Strahhov
Installation view, Narva Art Residency, 2018
Installation view, Narva Art Residency, 2018
Installation view, Narva Art Residency, 2018
Installation view, Narva Art Residency, 2018
Installation view, Narva Art Residency, 2018
01 / 05

“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