Three youngsters walk toward the camera and get into a yellow sports car. The camera follows as they ride through tunnels and around bends on a mountain road, alternating shots of the outside accompanied by aggressive electronic music with views of the interior, where the radio is playing softly. Inside, the youths doze and eat crackers without talking. Outside, there is the danger of going over the cliff edge. After a stop in a heliport, the eldest gets out and one of the others takes over as driver, leaving him behind. A further change at the wheel leaves us with the youngest, who is barely twelve years old, driving alone. We expect him to crash into the rocks, instead of which the camera follows the youngster’s fervid imagination as it soars over the woods and mountains. After a dreamlike journey, we return to reality. He gets out of the car and shuts the door. The trip is over.
The ZimmerFrei group produces video and sound installations, performances and multimedia events in collaboration with video art festivals, galleries and theatres. Their work investigates possible combinations of different expressions of contemporary culture. The theme of time occupies a central position. How do we experience time? Where does the past end and the future begin? Time passes also in Teenage Lightning, but not in harmony with the images. We see the three young people get into a low-slung car and expect them to go full speed around the bends and through the tunnels with rock music blasting out inside the car and all the wild atmosphere of a test of courage. What happens is the complete opposite. They drive slowly through the countryside practically in a trance with soft music playing. The video thus presents a contrast to stereotyped images of the young. At the same time, it shows how easily shots can be angled and action choreographed so as to arouse expectations in the viewer, which prove unfounded in the case of Teenage Lightning.
ZimmerFrei is a group of artists founded in Bologna in 1999. Its members are Anna de Manincor (Trento, 1972), Anna Rispoli (Bassano del Grappa, 1974) and Massimo Carozzi (Massa, 1967). In addition to solo shows at the Museo d’Arte in Nuoro (MAN) and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, they have taken part in group shows at Manifesta in Trento, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, the Kunsthalle in Vienna and Rencontres Internationales in Paris, Berlin and Madrid. The group works in Bologna, Brussels and New York.