Ken Kobland
2003. United States of America. vo English. 45’

Kobland's quiet, meditative video is a philosophical investigation, a travelogue of sorts, and, ultimately, a probing essay-film in the tradition of Aleksandr Sokorov or late Godard. Buildings and Grounds pairs lingering, beautifully framed shots of urban scenes, industrial installations, deserts, and other evocative landscapes with a series of fragmentary ruminations drawn from film luminaries such as Fassbinder, Fellini, Bergman and Tarkovsky. Presented as a unified diaristic accompaniment to the image, the text comes to us both as English-language 'subtitles' and, simultaneously, as voice-off appropriated from the original films. Floating over an image track virtually evacuated of all human form or movement, Kobland's questions and digressions call up a beautiful and melancholy world.