The Day (It Begins with the Cock and Ends with the Dogs)

Video, 2005, 13 min. 16 sec., 4:3

Der tag, der mit dem Hahn beginnt und mit den Hunden endet

This looks like a chance encounter that has been observed and filmed, but it could also be – especially because of the colour coordination of the image – the result of a carefully worked out composition. What results is ambivalence: cause or effect? Staged events or actions merely observed? This ambivalence is also pursued by Aurelia Mihai in The Day, It Begins with the Cock and Ends with the Dogs - 2005. The camera focuses on a rural scene in a small back yard which is separated from the road by a fence. In the course of this day (reduced to fourteen minutes in the film), the camera observes closely what is going on at the neighbours’: a woman sweeps the floor, a cock crows in the street, in the yard a perky little goat hides from the rain under the table. Somebody puts a pot of coffee on the table, the goat moves in its hiding place and makes the table wobble, the coffee spills, the table is wiped. A woman with a baby appears on the scene, the goat is curious and pokes its head out from under the table, two men appear, in the hand of one of them flashes the blade of a large knife. At this point – latest – one suspects that things are looking rather ominous, but like Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) what one fears will happen does not take place in front of the camera, but initially only in the viewer’s imagination. Through simply stringing together a series of events, narrative categories such as the build-up of suspense or causes and effects of the actions become completely blurred. Telling a story with moving images is demonstrated to be a highly speculative affair, and this leads on the question that is treated in Aurelia Mihai’s work: What does a film show, and how does it tell a story? (...)

Excerpt: An Incredible Picture. Show and Tell in Aurelia Mihai’s Video From the Heart, by DORIS KRYSTOF, Ansichten / Views - Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld, 2008.