Pièce touchée is based on an 18-second-long fragment of Joseph M. Newman's film of 1954, The Human Jungle. The scene chosen by the director shows what was typical for that age and reality of American middle class: we see a living room, a woman sitting in a chair and reading a newspaper, small gestures which set out the rhythm of everyday activities. The short scene is for the director the basis of a 16-minute-long film. Out of the outstretched frames, an unusual sequence of everyday actions is created. Using slow-motion it presents a moving image of automated reality with an air of emptiness and alienation.
MARTIN ARNOLD was born in 1959 in Vienna. He is one of the most significant exponents of Austrian experimental cinema. After studies in psychology and history of art at the University of Vienna, he moved to study film direction at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, San Francisco Art Institute, The Academy of Fine Arts in Frankfurt, The Kansas City Art Institute, Bard College and SUNY Binghamton. He is also a founder and member of an Austrian distribution company Sixpack Film. The artist is obsessed with the found footage technique, creating new material from already existing films, precisely cutting and assembling scenes which in original films last several seconds only. The director stretches them to several minutes and creates his own work with different time structure. In Passage à l'acte (1993) he used a couple dozen of seconds from To Kill a Mockingbird to tell a story of conflicts in a traditional American family. Martin Arnold represents the generation of artists who transgress the border between experimental cinema and video art.