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uxembourg esident n New YORK 013 Jeff desom

Edward Steichen

The jury 2013 Jean-Christophe Ammann, Art historian and curator (CH) Roxana Marcoci, Museum of Modern Art, New York (USA) Kevin Muhlen, Casino Forum d’Art Contemporain (L) The nominator Robert Garcia, Carré Rotondes (L)

Jeff Desom 1984, Luxembourg (L) Filmography 2013 Where Cinema Lives On! - commercial - Cinémathèque Luxembourg (L)

2012 Health, Tears, music video (US)

Hauschka, Radar, music video (D) Rear Window Timelapse (L) (Vimeo Award)

2010 Hauschka, The Key, music video (L)

Rear Window Loop, remix (Prix Ars Electronica - Golden Nica) Hauschka, Ghost Piano, live projections


JEFF DESOM Jeff Desom is a writer, director and visual effects artist. Combining live-action, found footage and digital effects, his work has been selected and awarded at a number of festivals around the world. Jeff Desom is a true virtuoso when it comes to image crafting: he manipulates, transforms and ‘grinds’ the cinematographic medium to bring forth a work of a particular poetic and aesthetic nature. His music videos for the German experimen-

tal composer Hauschka are reminiscent of the filmic universe of Michel Gondry. “Rear Window”, his highly acclaimed animation commissioned by Carré Rotondes for the institution’s ‘loop’ series testifies of Desom’s mastery of the historical genre combined with a dauntless sense of innovation. Under Jeff Desom’s direction, visual codes seem to reinvent themselves through the power of imagination. Robert Garcia

2009 Hauschka, Morgenrot, music video (L)

X on a Map, short 35 mm (L)

2007 Bloksky, short 16 mm (UK) (Akira Kurosawa Memorial Award) 2006 The Plot Spoiler, short dv (L) (Luxembourg Film Award)

Festivals & Awards (selection) 2013 Sydney International Film Festival

South by Southwest International Film Festival Rotterdam

2012 Ars Electronica, Linz (Winner Golden Nica)

Vimeo Awards & Festival (Winner) UK Music Video Awards

2011 BUG The Evolution of Music Video, BFI London

Bring to Light Nuit Blanche New York Chicago International Movies and Music Fest (Best Music Video)

2010 L.A. Film Festival

Anima 2010 Belgium (Special Mention) Vimeo Awards & Festival - Shortlist 2

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


The Plot Spoiler




Short dv, Luxembourg Film Award (L)

Short film 16 mm, Akira Kurosawa Memorial Award (UK)

Even before going to film school, Jeff Desom had written, directed, produced, shot and edited a 40 minute long nobudget film The Plot Spoiler (2006), a fictional love letter to the days of video stores and magnetic tapes. It went on to win the award for best Luxembourgish short film in 2007.

Jeff Desom graduated from the Arts University College Bournemouth (UK) where he specialized in directing. His graduation film Bloksky (2007) was awarded at the Akira Kurosawa Memorial Short Film Competition. Here, a composer’s writer’s block externalizes as a literal block growing from his head. The protagonist was played by German experimental pianist Hauschka who also composed the soundtrack.


The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


X on a Map 2009 Short film, 14:00, 35 mm (L)

In a time when every continent that can be discovered has been discovered, Paul works as a cartographer who dreams of distant places. That is until he crosses Ana who folds maps for the same company. During a secret meeting he eventually discovers his own private America that cannot be found on any map of the world. Starring Sean Biggerstaff (Harry Potter, Cashback) and Vicky Krieps (Hanna, Anonymous), the film premiered at the Moscow International Film Festival in 2009.


The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


Morgenrot 2009 Hauschka, music video 3:36, animation (L)

A burning piano falls from a skyscraper in 1920s New York. The animation is reconfigured from early twentieth century photographs from the vast collection of the Library of Congress and old postcards of New York found at a Parisian flea market.


The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


The Key

Ghost Piano



Hauschka, short film, 6:00 (L)

Live performance with Hauschka, 50:00, Projection mapping, pepper’s ghost

Ghost Piano is an audiovisual live performance with German experimental pianist Hauschka. A white piano is used as a surface for mapped projections that accompany the music of Hauschka. In order to allow a shadowfree projection, Hauschka himself is playing a second piano, hidden from the audience’s view. Only his ghostlike reflection is transported to the on-stage piano by means of an old theatre trick called “Pepper’s Ghost Illusion”. It consists of 10-12 musical pieces, all improvised, each one is coordinated live with a different visual theme. The show has a duration of approximately 50 minutes.

A forgetful delivery girl moves heaven and earth to bring a piano to it’s new owner. Shot in and around Luxembourg on a shoestring budget.


The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


Rear Window loop & timelapse 2010/2012 Installation, 10 x 2.5 m Remix of the original feature film by Alfred Hitchcock (1954)

By most accounts, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 classic Rear Window is as perfectly constructed a film as any the medium has ever produced. It is a “purely cinematic film,” as Hitchcock later described it, whose obvious spatial handicaps both exploited and negated one of the camera’s pre-eminent virtues, its effortless ability to navigate between the proximal and distal. The plot is wellknown: world-weary photographer, wheelchair-bound Jeff (Jimmy Stewart) is confined to recuperative leave in his Greenwich Village apartment with only (or mostly) a panorama of the encompassing tenement complex beyond as his company. But as Jean-Luc Godard commented, one never recalls the particulars of any of Hitchcock’s narratives but, rather, only the shots that framed them. In the case of Rear Window, however, neither specific scenes nor shots prove more memorable than the architecture and spatial configuration of the famed courtyard set. These have been analyzed to the point of exhaustion, with the chief exegetic points be-


The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

ing well familiar to any casual student of cinema, but never have they been seen before, like in this video time-lapse. Meticulously assembled by Jeff Desom, using just After-Effects and Photoshop, the video condenses Hitchcock’s masterwork into twenty minutes in which the entirety of the film’s events—sans the dramatic, personal scenes between the protagonists—play out before Jeff’s gaze. Desom’s collage is completely comprised of footage from the film, with the iconic window panorama being neatly tailored and augmented with various photographic effects (tilt-shift, stabilization, “rain”) so as to achieve verisimilitude with the original and to re-create the environmental changes that propel the narrative along. “Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle,” Desom writes, “I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. Samuel Medina

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


Radar 2012 Hauschka, music video (D)

Filmed in January 2012 in Clärchens Ballhaus in Berlin, Radar is the latest collaboration between Jeff Desom and the pianist and composer Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka. To the unfolding of Hauschka’s prepared piano rhythms,


The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

dancer Twoface - Patrick Williams performs as a human marionette. Jeff Desom adds the filmic wizardry and links the puppet to the cords of the piano, growing arms to the dancer to perfect and complete the enticing choreography.

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


Tears 2012 Health, music video, 4:00 (US)

Babies are little people, but they are experiencing the world so much harder than everyone else. Pacified one moment, releasing harrowing screams the next. This film explores what might drive such conviction, visualizing a post-apocalyptic world through the “seemingly vacant� eyes of toddlers.

The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013


The Edward Steichen Award Luxembourg is a tribute to the life and work of Edward Steichen, born in Luxembourg in 1879. The prize honors Steichen’s artistic achievements as a photographer and curator, as well as his commitment to advocating the arts and nurturing new talent. The Edward Steichen Award Luxembourg is a biennial incentive supporting emerging European talents in the field of contemporary art. It was initiated to create an opportunity for young practitioners to expand their horizon, as well as to contribute to establishing networks between international artistic communities. A particular emphasis is put on links between the art communities of Luxembourg and New York, where Edward Steichen gained artistic prominence. The laureate of the Edward Steichen Award is hosted for a six months residency in New York, at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), the premier residency-based contemporary art center in the United States for artists and curators around the world. A second prize, the Edward Steichen Luxembourg Resident in New York, was added in 2011 to benefit particularly emerging artists from Luxembourg. The “Resident� is granted a four months stay in New York at ISCP. Both prizes are open to young contemporary art practitioners between 25 and 35 years.


The Luxembourg Resident in NYC 2013

Jeff Desom  


Jeff Desom