100 Days of Rain

100 days of rain

Anna Benner

Berlin 2017/2020 • Videoprojektor, Stapelmonitor, 2 Mediaplayer

A woman rubs her temples. She cries. Scratches her nails. Stares blankly into space. We follow her through moments of sorrow, moments that are usually hidden away. We never get an explanation for her sadness, the sadness exists, visible in the small details and dramatic gestures.
In her installation “100 Days of Rain“, Anna Benner explores sadness by looking at the small intimate moments in the aftermath of an unnamed event and its conscious and unconscious rituals and gestures.

The rotoscoping technique chosen by the artist uses a base of filmed material on which each frame is redrawn by hand. In this creative process, a curious collision of reality and fiction takes place: The recorded scenes have been partly filmed in moments of real experienced sadness, but as soon as the camera was on, they acquired a performative aspect.
At the same time, moments that started as pure performance triggered real sadness. Through drawing over the footage, movements which aren’t necessarily conscious even during the filming become focused and highlighted. These micro-expressions and unconscious movements are heightened. Everyday scenes and movements are imbued with meaning by showing them in isolation.

“Mostly I have felt myself becoming a servant of sadness. I am still looking for the beauty in that”, states American writer Maggie Nelson in her book “Bluets“ (Wave Books, 2009). This quote that Benner references aptly describes the essence of her installation: the acceptance of sadness as a necessary and important part of our life, and the recognition of the beauty that lies in its expression.