wo träumende Esel träumen
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    wo träumende Esel träumen
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a video work by Echo Ho ,  two parts, a 16 min.   2002
idea / direction / editing / sound / music : Echo Ho
camera Sandeep Mehta, Tobias Steffens, Echo Ho
visual effects: Echo Ho, Roman Kirschner
actor and voice over: Tobias Steffens &  Echo Ho
Text sychoronisation : Judith Nordbrock
 
The film is the choreography of words. It is not trying to translate the literary piece into a film, but to build up a stereo time of visual and audio space, which contains a double identity of body ( reality ) and words ( dream ). In the installation, there are two projections which both parts of the videos are playing simultaneously. 
Text basied on "The dream of a Ridiculous Man" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
 
voice over in English :
the boy:
I'll get down to my dream. Yes, I had this dream then, my dream of the third of November!
this dream proclaimed the Truth to me. for if you once knew the truth and saw it, then you know that it is the truth and there is and can be no other, whether you're asleep or alive!
listen !
 
i dreamed that i took the revolver and, sitting there, aimed it straight at my heart-my heart, not my head.     i hastily fired.
 
i felt no pain, but i imagined that, as i fired, everything shook inside me and everything suddenly went out, and it became terribly black around me. It was damp.
I called out and fell silent.  I was taken by some dark being unknow to me, and we found ourselves in space.  it was deep night , we are rushing through space far from earth.
 
I remember that I sudddenly saw a little star in the darkness. "Is that Sirius?" 
 
I knew that in the heavenly spaces there were stars whose light reached the earth only after thousands or millions of years.
 
 
i suddenly saw our sun! I knew it could not be our sun, which had generated our earth, and that we were at an infinite distance from our sun, but for some reason I recognized, with my whole being, that it was absolutely the same as our sun, its replica and double.
 
 
"And are such repicas really possible in the universe, is that really the law of nature?.. and if
that is the earth there, is it really the same as our earth... absolutely the same, unfortunate, poor, but dear and eternally beloved, giving birth to the same tormenting love for herself even
in her most ungrateful children?..." I cried out, shaking with irrepressible, rapturous love for that former native earth  I had abandoned.
 
"You will see all" my companion replied.
 
"How can there be such a replica, and what for? I love, I can love , only the earth I left, where the stains of my blood were left, when I, the ungrateful one, extinguished my life with a shot in the heart. But never, never did i cease to love that earth, and even on that night, as i was parting from her, i perhaps loved her more tormentingly than ever before."
 
 
I came to stand on this other earth, in the bright light of a sunny day, lovely as paradise. Oh, everything was exactly as with us, but seemed everywhere to radiate some festivity and a great , holy, and finally attained triumph.
 
And finally I got to see and know the people of that happy earth. how beautiful they were!  never on earth have I seen such beauty in man. Maybe only in our children, in their first years, can noe find a remote, though faint, glimmer of that beauty.
 
The people of our earth always contained anguish: why am I unable to hate them without loving them, why am I unable not to forgive them, and why is there anguish in my love for them: why am I unable to love them without hating them?
 
It ended with me corrupting them  all!  The dream flew through thousands of years and left in me just a sense of the whole. I know only that the cause of the fall was I. Like an atom of plague infecting whole countries, so I infected that whole happy and previously sinless earth with myself. 
They learned to lie and began to love the lie and knew the beauty of the lie. Oh, maybe it started innocently, with a joke, with coquetry, with amorous play, maybe, indeed, with an atom, but this atom of lie  penetrated their hearts, and they liked it.  Then sensuality was quickly born, sensuality generated jealousy, and jealousy__ cruelty ... Oh, but soon, bery soon, the first blood was shed; they were astonished and horrified, and began to part, to separate, Alliances appeared, but against each other now. Rebukes, reproaches began. They knew shame,and shame was made into a virtue. The notion of honor was born, and each alliance raised its own banner. They began tormenting animals, and the animals withdrew from them into the forests and became their enemies. There began the struggle for separation , for isolation, for the personal, for mine and yours. They started speaking different languages. They knew sorrow and came to love sorrow, they thirsted for suffering and said that truth is attained only through suffering. The science appeared among them. When they became wicked, they began to talk of brotherhood and humaneness and understood these ideas. When they became criminal, they invented justice and prescribed whole codices for themselves in order to maintain it ,and to ensure the codices they set up the guillotine.
 They just barely remembered what they had lost, and did not even want to believe that they had once been innocent and ahppy. They even laughed at the possibility of the former happiness and called it a dream. if some one had suddenly shown it to them again and asked them: did they want to go back to it?__ they would certainly have refused.  They used to answer me:"  But we have science, and through it we shall again find the truth, but we shall now accept it consciously, knowledge is higher than feelings, the consciousness of life is higher than life. Science will give us wisdom, wisdom will discover laws, and knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness."
People began to appear who started inventing ways for everyone to unite again, so that each of them, without ceasing to love himself more than anyone else, would at the same time not hinder others, and thus live all together in a harmonious society, as it were. Whole wars arose because of this idea. At the same time, the warring sides all firmly believed that science, wisdom, and the sense of self-perservation would finally force men to unite in a harmonious and reasonable society, and therefore, to speed things up meanwhile, the "wise" tried quickly to exterminate all the "unwise", who did not understand their idea, so that they wuld not hinderits triumph. But the sense of self-preservation quickly began to weaken, proud men and sensualists appeared who directly demanded everything or nothing. To acquire everything, they resorted to evildoing, and if that did not succeed__ to suicide.
 
The consciousness of life is higher than life, the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness___ that is what must be fought! And i will
 
and here .. well , here I woke up.
 
 
the gril:
So let it be a dream, let it be , but this life, which you extol so much, i wanted to extinguish by suicide, while my dream, my dream__ oh, it proclaimed to me a new, great, renewed, strong life !
Listen!
 
A deep indignation  suddenly blazed up in my heart, and suddenly i felt physical pain in it. "It's my wound,  I thought,  It's my shot...   i don't know how much time passed... And i suddenly  called out , not in a vioce, for i was motionless, but with my whole being to the master of all that was coming to pass with me.
 
our journey had an unknown and mysterious purpose which concerned me alone. Fear was growing in my heart. Something was being communicated to me, mutely but tormentingly, from my silent companion, and was as if penetrating me. We were rushing through dark and unknown space.
 
" No, it is the very star you saw between the clouds, as you were returning home"  
 
i suddenly saw our sun! I knew it could not be our sun, which had generated our earth, and that we were at an infinite distance from our sun, but for some reason I recognized, with my whole being, that it was absolutely the same as our sun, its replica and double.
 
 
But if this is the sun, if this is absolutely the same as our sun," I cried out, "then where is the earth?" And my companion pointed to the little star that shone in the darkness with an emerald brilliance. We were rushing straight toward her.
 
 
"You will see all" my companion replied.
 
 
"Is there suffering on this new earth? On our earth we can love truly only with suffering and through suffering!  We're unable to love otherwise and we know no other love. I want suffering, in order to love. 
 
I came to stand on this other earth, in the bright light of a sunny day, lovely as paradise. Oh, everything was exactly as with us, but seemed everywhere to radiate some festivity and a great , holy, and finally attained triumph.
 
 
The gentle emerald sea splashed softly against the shores and kissed them with love_ plain, visible, almost conscious. Tall, beautiful trees stood in all the luxury of their flowering, and their numberless leaves, I was convinced, greeted me with their soft, gentle sound, as if uttering words of love.  The grass glittered with bright, fragrant flowers.Flocks of birds flew about in the air and, fearless of me, landed on my shoulders and arms, joyfully beating me with their dear, fluttering wings. And finally i got to see and know the people of that happy earth. The eyes of these happy people shone with clear brightness. Their faces radiated reason and a sort of consciousness fulfilled to the point of serenity, yet they were mirthful faces; a childlike joy sounded in the words and voices of these people.
 
This was the earth undefiled by the fall, the people who lived on it had not sinned, they lived in the same paradise in which, according to the legends of all mankind, our fallen forefathers lived, with the only difference that the whole earth here was everywhere one and the same paradise.
 
Well , let it be only a dream!  But the feeling of love from these innocent and beautiful people remained in me ever after, and i feel that their love pours upon me from there even now. I saw them myself, I knew them and was convinced, I loved them, I suffered for them afterward.
They did not wish for anything and were at peace, they did not aspire to a knowledge of life, as we do, because their life was fulfilled. but their knowledge was deeper and loftier than our science; for our  science seeks to explain what life is, it aspires to comprehend it, in order to teach others to live; but they  know how to live even without science.  
 
They  pointed out their trees to me, and i could not understand the extent of the love with which they looked at them: as if they were talking with creatures of their own kind. they had found their language.  They looked at the whole of nature in the same way__ at the animals, who lived in peace with them, did not attack them, and loved them, won over by their love.
They pointed out the stars to me and talked of them with me about something I couldn't understand, but I am convinced that they had some contact, as it were, with the heavenly stars, not just in thought, but in some living way.
Their children wer everyone's chrildren,, because they all constituted one family. They had almost no illnesses, though there was death; but their old people died quietly, as if falling asleep, surrounded by those bidding them farewell, blessing them, smiling at them, and receiving bright parting smiles themselves.
 
I saw no sorrow or tears at that, there was only love increased as if to the point of raputre, but a rapture that was calm, fulfilled, contemplative. They had no temples, but they had some essential, living, and constant union with the entirety of the universe; they had no faith, but instead had a firm knowledge that when their earthlay joy was fufilled to the limits of earthly nature, there would then come for them, both for the living and for the dead, a still greater expansion of their contract with the Entirety of the universe.
 
yet the real images and forms of my dream, that is those that I actually saw at the time of my dreaming, were fulfilled so harmoniously, they were so enchanting and beautiful, and so true...
everything was happening as it always does in dreams, when you leap over space and time and over the laws of being and reason, and pause only on the points of the heart's reverie.
 
The thing was that I.... corrupted them all!