Ever-normal Granary

Marlies Pöeschl

2022, 23:36 minutes, Colour, German (available with English subtitles)

TAPECODE 2152.00

In the year in which this film is set, there was no summer. The grain remained in the ground. Apparently though, enough grain was safely stored in a large brick building.
This film shifts through a labyrinthine structure, looking at the idea and architecture of buffer stock schemes such as the "ever-normal granary.”

This refers to an idea originally from China, of a grain storage system that balances supply and demand and which offers stability due to its constant stock levels. But the seeming normality of the granary is disrupted and the grain starts to disappear. In the voice-over, a manager and a mouse can be heard negotiating questions of economics, botany, food security, food speculation and logistics.
When food security is threatened, it becomes necessary to adopt new perspectives and acknowledge other kinds of knowledge. This film essay contrasts industrial food production with indigenous ecological perspectives and embodied knowledge: In the second part of the film, the performers awake from a long sleep. The choreography they perform refers to the book Braiding Sweetgrass (2013) by US plant ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer. The relationship between dance and composition, which is made up of natural, technological, human and more-than-human sounds, is an attempt to aesthetically reframe and rethink the relationship to the environment.

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