Perfect Garden

Austria 2013, Performance, 80’ | Director, Screenplay Mara Mattuschka, Chris Haring | DoP Josef Nermuth| Editor Mara Mattuschka | Sound Andreas Berger | Cast Alexander E. Fennon, Simone Truong, Ian Garside, Thales Weilinger, Stephanie Cumming, Luke Baio, Rachel Odena, Ana Maria Nowak | Production Mara Mattuschka Minus Film, Chris Haring, David Zudersdorfer, Christoph Parzer NKED | Distribution sixpackfilm

We are taken to an occupied establishment – a sort of self-defined subcosmos of reality – to observe a sensual search for pleasure and fulfilment. Men and women dancing, desiring and interacting. Their choreographed body game becomes a symbiotic extension of an excessively hedonistic subconscious. Amidst all this physicality, a mob capo looks to take over the restaurant and find the meaning of life. Mara Mattuschka spells out Chris Haring's dance routines via inventive camera settings. Perfect Garden is a utopia, perfectly stylised.

Born 1959 in Bulgaria, Mara Mattuschka has lived in Vienna since 1976. She studied anthropology and linguistics at the University of Vienna before taking up painting and animation at the Academy of Applied Arts. In 1990, she graduated there as one of Maria Lassnig's master students. A grant from the Federal Ministry of Education & the Arts took her to Prague in 1991. In 1994, she was appointed professor of art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brunswick, Germany. Mara Mattuschka is a member of the Austrian Film-makers Coop and board member of the Austrian Section of the Association Internationale du Film d' Animation (ASIFA Austria).

Born 1970, the Austrian choreographer Chris Haring works with international choreographers and groups, including: the DV8 Physical Theatre, man act and Nigel Charnock from England and pilottanzt and Willi Dorner from Austria. Working with media artist and composer Klaus Obermaier, he developed video dance performances that were shown around the world. The main sources of inspiration for his pieces are science fiction and the notion of the human body as a cybernetic landscape. As the artistic director of Liquid Loft, Chris Haring performed in the Austrian Pavilion at the EXPO Zaragoza 2008. It was also with Liquid Loft in 2010 that Talking Head came about, a work that deals with issues of identification and self-representation in the social media culture of today.

Mara Mattuschka, Chris Haring