Magic moments, Cornelia Gockel
The shot hits its mark – straight through the heart. With a scowl on his face, the Mexican approaches his victim: a man lying motionless on the ground, just a few metres before him. It could hardly come as more of a surprise when this man is not only revealed to have survived his mortal wound, but then springs to his feet as right as rain, kicks his opponent's weapon from his hand and punches him to the ground with a well-aimed blow. With a sneer, he pulls a couple of dollar coins with bullet-holes through them from the pocket of his shirt and throws them at his feet. "You're a helluva shot. Straight to the heart. Only one thing saved me: these dollars. You can have 'em. Won't be much use to you now, mind."
It is a magical moment in the otherwise action-heavy spaghetti western. An everyday object obtains a special aura by proving life-saving capabilities. Throughout the history of film – a medium not short on firearms – there are many such scenes: the cross pendant in "The Three Musketeers", the wad of money in the James Bond film "Octopussy" and the Rolling Stones LP in Leander Haußmann's film "Sonnenallee", to name but a few.
Lukas Kindermann has collected these scenes and compiled selected sequences from them in a 7'45 loop. His installation is entitled "Rescuer", and includes not only the video but also the objects from the films, replete with bullet-holes. In the "Moving Images" exhibition held in the auditorium of Munich's Academy of Fine Arts in 2011, he presented them as items of evidence on a simple metal shelf. The video ran on a monitor in the background. Kindermann thus presented filmic fiction as fictional reality, as the exhibits were not the originals, but copies he had made from the template in the film. In order to achieve this, he sourced the relevant items and enlisted a professional marksman to shoot them with a high-calibre weapon.
However, these objects with their bullet-holes are more than just fictional items of evidence from a film of almost incredible rescues. The magic of the moment lends them a quasi-religious aura. After all, must it not have been a higher power that prevented anything worse from happening? When seen from this perspective, Kindermann's installation begs comparison with the Christian cult of relics. Lukas Kindermann is aware of the ambivalent significance of his objects. This is why he has avoided drawing up fixed installation instructions, preferring instead for "Rescuer" to be exhibited in a way that suits its location and context, thus allowing greater scope for interpretation. Who knows, maybe Kindermann's rescuers will end up in a glass case, preserved as miraculous relics.