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Shoot & Think

The Exhibition

At: 18. March 2022

Shoot&Think Vienna - Please Return To Your Screens

The short film Please Return To Your Screens is currently part of the exhibition Shoot&Think at MQ Freiraum, MuseumsQuartier Wien. The exhibition is part of Foto Wien, and runs until 27th March 2022. Shoot&Think is curated by Eva Leitolf and Giulia Cordin, and features artworks produced in the class Studio Image, Freie Universität Bozen.


Can you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Christina Vieira-Barry and I’m an artist from London, currently living in Brixen.
I’m currently studying Art & Design in Bolzano. I work mainly with film & video. My short film Please Return To Your Screens is currently part of the exhibition Shoot&Think, now open in MQ FreiRaum, MuseumsQuartier Wien until 27th March 2022. Please Return is set in the year 2054 (35 After Corona). It is the protagonist’s 32nd attempt to escape Lockdown.

What was the main motivation for the film?

Please Return is a protest, a critical commentary against how our rights were taken away. It has been 2 years since the pandemic began, and restrictions still exist. These barriers have become invisible, to those who are vaccinated or have a green pass, super green pass. My motivation is to make the barriers visible again, and highlight the surreality of the situation.

Using the metaphor of the Matrix, the protagonist in Please Return escapes the Matrix. He is aware of another reality, beyond the screen. The people left behind are unaware of the existence of another reality. It is the responsibility of art to manifest alternative realities in order to change existing reality. The responsibility of the artist to come back to free people from the matrix.

Can you shortly recap the storyline of Please Return?

It the protagonist’s 32nd attempt to escape lockdown. He leaves the house, and is running through the streets of Brixen to try and escape lockdown. Brixen is a metaphor for lockdown, a dystopian, post-apocalyptic reality. Abandoned, deserted empty streets. There is no one. At the end of the film he manages to escape. To escape lockdown, and change dimensions.

Can you tell us about the exhibition and the environment in which the film is shown?

Please Return is part of Shoot & Think, curated by Eva Leitolf and Giulia Cordin. The exhibition shows works made during Studio Image at Freie Universität Bozen. The opening was on the 10th March, and the show will run until the 27th March 2022 as part of Foto Wien. There is also the publication Shoot&Think, which features the artworks from the exhibition, as well as other works produced during Studio Image.

Please Return was produced during the semester “Democracy in Distress? Manufacturing Majorities through New Forms of Propaganda” from Studio Image. Focusing on how images play a huge role in authoritarian regimes and increasingly in democratic societies. Images enable surveillance and control. Their role in producing majorities can (de)stabilise democratic societies.
Technology & surveillance was also a main theme.

What is the general feeling of Please Return?

It is a political artwork. And that without the film, this dystopian, künstlich nature of the film, it would be too shocking, for people to face that reality. It’s too direct, too harsh to see it without this kind of “filter”, the medium of film.  

The camera captures existing reality, and transforms it in the context of art. The crisis of Please Return was the lockdown during Corona, being projected into a dystopian future in the year 2054, to emphasis the surreality of the situation. A mirror of our current reality, mediated through the medium of film. The mediation of reality through film is important, as the reality of the situation is too direct, too surreal to be grasped in real time. We are influenced by the time we are living in. As a result, Art cannot be neutral. We are not just documenting the world in an aesthetic way, but pushing the boundaries.

What went wrong? Were there any difficulties during filming?

The technical mistakes if you can spot them. A lot of early starts. The film was shot around 5am in the morning, at sunrise. This was important, as the city was empty, and also for the particular light at that time of day. It also started raining at one point. We were filming in the middle of a main road, Brennerstraße, and some cars did come, but we always kept an eye on the road, and were ready to grab the tripod and run. We also travelled to the final location, me and the actor (Michael Della Giustina), on one bike, with all the filming equipment plus a huge plexiglass used for the “wall” in the final scene. The police also arrived while we were filming the first scene (we were still not allowed outside so early because of the curfew between 10pm and 5am). We asked if we could film them. They said no. But I was already on Rec.

What is the most important aspect for you?

It’s a documentary at the end of the day. It’s seen as a fictional, dystopian reality but it’s more closer to reality than we think.

Please Return To Your Screens

MQ Freiraum
MuseumsQuartier Wien, Museumsplatz 1

Part of Foto Wien
11. – 27. März 2022
Di – So 13:00 – 16:00, 16:30 – 20:00