Walled Souls


1995, 00:14:36, PAL, color, sound, L007 12

Antal Lux spent the year 1956 first as a forced laborer at a coalmine in Pécs, and later as a member of Mecseki láthatatlanok, or “The Invisible,” and thus participated in the uprising against the Soviet army and the security police ÁVO. After the uprising was suppressed, he fled to Germany where he not only created oil paintings, graphic design, objects, and installations, but also several video works that deal with the history of actually existing socialism and its consequences. The 1995 coproduction Gemauerte Seelen explores the Yugoslavian War in light of the events of the Croatian War (1991–1995) and the Bosnian War (1992–1995). In so doing, Lux uses various sources of material, including amateur films, television footage, and film footage shot by the artist himself, combining them in a collage-like fashion using the split screen technique and various forms of montage and visual editing. Shots of rocket attacks, bombed buildings and street scenes, images of war victims, sharpshooters, and the suffering civilian population appear alongside one another and are mixed together, as well as a historical explanation of the war in Yugoslavia as rooted in the Second World War, interview commentaries from eyewitnesses from both a Croatian and a Serbian perspective mixed with quotations from Ernst Jünger provide a differentiated and multidimensional view of events. To provide structure, Lux interweaves detail shots of the “Zagreb Wall” into his video collage: this wall was erected in front of UN headquarters in Zagreb by the family members of those killed in the war. The individual bricks of the wall bear the name of a victim or a destroyed Croatian or Bosnian city. Alongside the wall, a further heavily structure in the video inspired the title of the work: the Bridge of Mostar (Starimost). Destroyed during the war and now rebuilt, this bridge was erected in 1566 by the Ottoman master builder Mimar Hayreddin, whose body and soul are—according to legend—walled into the bridge.