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Bernd Behr's "HOUSE WITHOUT A DOOR" (2006)

In 2006, London-based artist Bernd Behr approached me with a commission to compose original music for his video work "House Without a Door". The work explores the relationship between film and architecture, linking a US military test structure with studio sets of 1920s German expressionist film. The work was premiered at the Chisenhale Gallery in London in november 2006.

From the work description:

In 1943 the US military commissioned émigré modernist architect Erich Mendelsohn and Hollywood studio RKO to design and build a replica Berlin housing estate in the Utah desert to test incendiary bombs eventually deployed in the air raids on Dresden and Berlin. Behr’s interest lies in the performative nature of the building, embodied in its cultural/geographical displacement and its function of repeatedly performing its own destruction.

Borrowing its title from the early expressionist film House Without a Door (1914), which has no surviving print, the work fictionalises the now inaccessible interior of this building through a set of references to 1920s German expressionist films, including Faust (F.W. Murnau, 1926) and Dr. Mabuse (F. Lang, 1922). These references reflect Mendelsohn’s own relation to expressionist theatre, Weimar filmmakers and the proximity of the test site to an actual village in Utah called ‘Faust’.


Excerpt 1. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]

Excerpt 2. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]

Excerpt 3. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]

Excerpt 4. [ DOWNLOAD MP3 ]