Pension Rita

Pension Rita
(Rita's Guesthouse)

Short film / Video installation
250x 320x 220 cm
4 Films in sync as loop (3:40 minutes):
2 TVs, 1 wall projection, 1 ground projection
Cinematography by David Jazay,
Ina Gecke, Judy Ross
Cast: Hilde Ross, Gisela Hampel, Horst &
Sofie Bergemann, Hassan Akkouch,
Tonny Kondo, Osman
Installation: Michael & Judy Ross
German, English subtitle

The viewers enter the installation through a life size door and find themselves in a girl’s room. The construction of the free standing room is always visible because of the missing ceiling. The installation is a bittersweet experience of a dysfunctional family in the Pension Rita, a run down guesthouse in Berlin. The characters are Chantal, Miss Rita (Chantal’s mother) and her friend Dr. Geiger. These characters have created fictitious identities with appropriate ambitions, behaviors and personalities, as refuge from their troubled lives. For them, there is no question that their identities are constructed.  
In her room, Chantal lives in her own fantasy world to escape from the conflict with her mother. Her fantasy world involves two whales that live in the cellar full of water. Taking comfort in this fantasy, she has lost contact with the outside world. To the audience, the room appears recently left and Chantal herself is only visible through her footprints on the floor, like a ghost. The footprints trace her daily movements from her bed to the window to the television, where her mother, Dr. Geiger and the other guests in the Pension Rita are at a coffee party gossiping about Chantal.  
The viewer is literally immersed in the reality of a young, depressed woman and is able to witness both the effects and the causes of her affliction.

The video installation has been realized in 2006, supported by NaföG (Postgraduate Aid by the City of Berlin) and won 2007 the Federal Award for Fine Art by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Bonn.

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