Future Memories (Part I of “I bruise easily”) 2010

In the early 21st century, permeated by abstract crises with many real world implications, from financial meltdowns to ecological disasters of various kinds, the three-part series “I bruise easily” Part I to III creates a constructed, often distinctly dystopian world. The tales challenge our often undetermined uneasiness to a disturbing public-private layer of assumingly abstract threats to the sanity of our existence.
The three part cycle “I bruise easily” takes on the forlornness of the individual in a world of seemingly abstract threats. Stellbaum is director and cinematographer, script writer, editor, and most often the only actor in these short films of 5-10 minutes in length.
“There are many dramas in life about what people have done – my drama is about what I will not have done” begins the video “Future Memories” (Part I of “I bruise easily”), which leads us through a meditation on moral courage, responsibility, and one individual‘s sense of impotence in acting against a totalitarian pretension of an unnamed system.
The cinematic views of constant slow, but demanding motion draws the viewer into a serene blur of color and movement. The narrative extracts focus on the anguish of waiting, the dreariness of institutional settings, of moral courage and cowardice in repressive systems and our impotence in the face of bureaucracy. The work constitutes a kind of poetry of exhausted affect. The camera pans the room, cuts, fades, repeats. Stellbaum’s voice resonates as it loops and echoes as the story unfolds.

Excerpt Rupert Goldsworthy on “Future Memories”