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On Phenomena & Existencies no3

Posted by easternxpress on September 19, 2009


On Phenomena & Existencies no3

Video Installation 4′, 2006. Russia/Holland.
directed by André Schreuders.

An absurd story about the so-caller fluid thinking of the Russian writer Daniil Kharms, seen through the eyes of the young philosopher Danya. Two guards on the roof of the State Publishing House in St Petersburg maintain order in the city. They closely follow the Rules for the Guard that were formulated in the 1930s by Daniil Kharms. One of the guards is the young philosopher Danya. He has a special, almost friendly, relationship with the dead Kharms. He thinks about his work and tries to envisage how words can break a permanent gaze.

Based on a short story by the Russian absurdist writer Daniil Kharms (1905-1942), this is a film about fluid thinking in a multilayered mixture of animation, poetry, documentary & fiction…


  • Danya : Anton Matveev
  • Max : Maxim Kudryavtsev-Nevzorov

Produced by Marc Thelosen / Serious Film.

Screening at the EasternXpress festival 2009.

on Phenomena & Existences no. 3

director’s statement & synopsis

Daniil Kharms (1905-1942, St Petersburg, Russia) is a writer of absurd stories. Most of them are written in a black humoristic style. Often they are full of paradoxes. But they are not only funny. All writings of Kharms are experiments of form. In the 1920s Kharms is part of the Russian avant-garde. Daniil Kharms searches for a new language, which would lead to what he calls ‘fluid thinking’. ‘Fluid thinking’ is the opposite of logical thinking. It is a way to break our common fixed concepts of reality, to let us see reality instead of our concepts. ‘Fluid thinking’ is a paradox. With our thinking we try to understand and so to grasp and control the chaos we experience. But the fluidity is the opposite of grasping: let the chaotic reality flow as it flows. ‘Fluid thinking’ is a way of thinking like a river, like a stream, streaming as reality is, beyond ideas.

The film is based on two texts of Kharms. The inspiration for the story line comes from I was on the roof of the State Publishing House…. This text contains a list of rules for the guards on the roof of the state publishing house in St Petersburg to maintain order in the city. Danya, the main character in this film is one of the guards on the roof. But in reality he is also a philosopher and interpreter of Kharms. He tells about his interpretation of ‘fluid thinking’. He also he recites a text of Daniil Kharms about ‘fluid thinking’ which is called: 11 Assertions by Daniil Ivanovic Kharms. This philosophical and poetical text is almost not understandable. Maybe only if we succeed to think fluidly. The clear, open and surprising images of this film attempt to give a direct access to the deeper meaning of the work of Daniil Kharms.

André Schreuders


One Response to “On Phenomena & Existencies no3”

  1. […] On Phenomena & Existencies no.3 by Andre Schreuders. Video installation. Russia/Holland 2006. 4min. […]

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