Shot entirely on 16mm, the film features a one-take performance from the experimental composer and saxophonist as he moves around an empty theatre.
‘Brist’, which can be translated from Norwegian as “rupture”, is the title chosen by queer filmmaker Matt Lambert and experimental composer and saxophonist Bendik Giske for their stunning collaboration. Commissioned by Oslo’s MUNCH museum for the third installment of their Contemporary Art Digital Shorts series, entitled Queer Desires, Brist was captured by Matt Lambert at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatre in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, yet another theatre lying empty during the lockdown. “Devoid of an audience during the pandemic,” says HAU, “the venerable stage stands empty, providing an eerie backdrop for Bendik Giske’s saxophone performance of his new composition.”
Combining the jar-dropping physicality of Giske’s live performance with dim, sensual lighting, glistening latex stretched taut over straining flesh and the sleazy grain of 16mm film, with Brist Lambert equates the physical distance of social distancing and public curfews with the pent up desire of a furtive touch. The empty space of the deserted HAU1 theatre is contrasted with Giske’s solo journey around it’s labyrinthine sprawl of bathrooms, hallways and backstage areas, all the while pursued by a masked stranger.
Beginning with the tumescent stroke of a leather boot and climaxing with a tender hand of support on Giske’s back as he breathes heavily, completely spent in the performance, the surging crescendos of his relentless, looping saxophone take on a intensely libidinal energy, a melodic dedication to queer desire and to the longing for the physical during a time when touch is taboo. Giske’s rupture is a break in the music, his ‘brist’ the glance of a gloved hand on an empty stage.
For more information about Matt Lambert and his work, you can visit his website and follow him on Instagram. For more information about Bendik Giske and his music, you can visit his website and follow him on Instagram.