were dwelling in and moving through similar interstitial spaces. What does it mean to leave and to return, or to put it otherwise, to constantly depart? In my reading through the different stages of the project, every arrival was contingent upon a departure, one either preceding or following. Anterior and posterior, both before and after, departure was here linked to a cut, a rupture in an ordinary flow of events. Montage, one could say, was literally taking place way before I had the processed analog film on screen; materializing in the encounter of the body with place—in traversing, leaving, returning, repeating.
The sequence from the film shown here demonstrates quite well the initial obstacle that was present before commencing a project that subsequently grew into a leviathan, and at the same time embodies the project’s momentum: that we were telling or visualizing a story that is, from the very beginning, caught up in contradictions and was too complex to navigate through and apprehend. Cathy Caruth resourcefully observes that one should “Permit history to arise where immediate understanding may not”. In her view history can be grasped in the inaccessibility of its occurrence and as a narrative of a belated experience.15
Returning to the Kaiser Panorama, although it was not our intention to search for images of it in Southeastern Europe, nevertheless it happened so that on our last day of what would be the final trip before going into post-production we chanced upon a Kaiser Panorama in operation at the Cinematheque in Belgrade.
The recorded image and audio sequences came to play a decisive role on various levels of signification in Days In Between. The pre-last sequence, in which diverse shots of the Kaiser Panorama, as it transports the images, alternate with recordings of mounted animals staring at the spectator in the Natural History Department of the University of Cluj is programmatic for the whole narrative of the film. A montage that is governed by comparative viewing and cyclicality could expose the manipulative forces of control, subjection and domination. The characteristic sound of the apparatus transporting the images, wholly alienated now, re-materializes as the auditory ‘sync’ backdrop of a boy chopping wood, an otherwise intrinsically ‘documentary’ scene. The film is replete with analogous incongruent juxtapositions on an image-text and an image-sound level. I will return to this sequence later on when I elaborate on the recent iterations of the project where it disconnects, as it were, from the essay film to transform into a standalone entity.