bathhouse, 2003


“Bathhouse”, 2003, single-channel video, 10 min
The film was inspired by the movie “Ecstasy” (1933) starring the Austrian actress Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler who later became famous in Hollywood as Hedy Lamarr. In this movie a young twenty-year old actress performed naked in a swimming scene that lasted 10 minutes and that shocked European society as well as her husband, Austrian industrialist Fritz Mandl, who unsuccessfully tried to purchase all existing copies of “Ecstasy”.

The work is shot in the bathhouse on Salurner Street in Innsbruck that opened in 1927. At that time this bathhouse was the most modern and most beautiful in Austria. The work captures the empty premises of the bathhouse inter-cut with interviews of students of Innsbruck Schauspielforum Tirol (school of actors). They are asked: What do future actresses think of nudity? What is the correlation between erotic and shame? Could they perform naked in a pool-swimming scene? Could anyone forbid them to act in such a role? Although focussed on the body and eroticism, the young narrator is not visible. She can only be imagined.