Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dawn of man- a new approach

Dawn of Man- a new approach!
DVD 9:30 min

In the fictitious documentary “Dawn of Man- a New Approach” I am staging the first discovery of the ball by an apelike human around 2 million years ago. The movie has been collaboration with the finish media artist Sari Palosaari that has guided me in the camera work and editing assistance trough this project. It is myself in the costume by the way! It was designed by my brother Uli Westphal that is working as visual artist in Berlin.
Balls are cultural artifacts that reach far back in time and were at hand when man started to play. In my documentary we become witnesses of the moment when the enlightened Homo habilis becomes the Homo ludens, the “Playing human”.
The movie has been largely inspired by the beginning sequences of Stanley Kubricks, 2001: A Space Odyssey. In Kubrick´s version we are apelike beings, living in hostile environment constantly in fear of darkness, starvation and predators. We witness the man-apes igniting spark toward humanity as our ancestor learns to use a skeleton bone as weapon. It always made me feel uncomfortable that the rise of humanity began with a weapon. In my movie wanted to make a new approach to this story. What if the first real human discovery was a ball, first of snow and later in a modified form made of tree branches? Out of curiosity and playful research our ancestor made an innovation that has never left him since-, and throughout time has been passed to us.

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