Christoph Girardet


»Synthesis« by Christoph Girardet.
Christoph Girardet
Medium / Material / Technic
Video, color, sound (mono), 7:05 min. looped; Text: First Book of Moses, chapter 1; Voice: Peter Bennett

Christoph Girardet’s found footage film »Synthesis« combines two seemingly contradictory approaches to understanding the world: religious myths and science. A solemn voiceover recites the first few verses of the Old Testament. At the same time, we are shown a montage of objective close-ups from a variety of chemical industry PR films. Girardet utilizes the laboratory footage to illustrate the narrative. But while the creation myth is about the world as a whole, science focuses on the base materials, processes, and energies found in nature. The recordings highlight liquid and viscous matter, growth and decay, pointing towards the intangible. Through cinematic rhetoric, synthesis, a term from chemistry, becomes synonymous with creation. Has the divine instance thus passed over to science? And is not the filmmaker also a world-creator in the medium of the image?

Myth and science coexist side by side, but they are separated by a key difference: While God assigns positive value to creation, science in its modern incarnation embodies an open epistemic process.

The final images of the film show two circular formations: a target being struck by arrows that keep missing the bull’s eye, and a drop falling in slow-motion and creating perfectly symmetrical shapes upon impact. Does this show an opposition between natural perfection and human trial and error? Or do natural aesthetics and the sciences represent two possible perceptions that augment each other?

Commissioned: Wilhelm-Hack-Museum Ludwigshafen; supported: BASF SE, Ludwigshafen.