Through precisely composed filmic tableaux and minimal movements, the work Carusel encapsulates the image of an underground, post-apocalyptic playground, while elsewhere various doomsday scenarios take their course. It portrays the Zeitgeist-phenomenon celebrated by pop culture in graphic novels, computer games and television series in all of its pessimistic bliss.
Carusel triggers chains of associations between mythical traditions and the fear of darkness, underground and uncertainty. In an elevator ride in one of the scenes towards the end of the film, we eavesdrop on the conversation of a family, suggesting that the world is still standing.
Carusel was shot in the damp caverns of a former Romanian salt mine, “Salina Turda”, which was reused as a bomb shelter during World War II and then refurbished as an underground amusement park. Though equipped with a carousel, ping-pong tables, a children’s playground and rowboats, the site with its massive threatening/imposing steel structures and surreal neon-objects still radiates a gloomy atmosphere and ambience of fear.
It seems that the mythical echoes of the past still resonate in this space, and absurdly merge with the eerie and bizarre theme park.
Marlies Wirth, Curator MAK