(In collaboration with Lisa Rinzler)
A 12 monitor installation. Color and Black and White. Sound.
A cinematic projection installation in 13 stations. Sound design. Drama fragments. And a stand-alone gallery of images and text. In collaboration with Lisa Rinzler. ( An internationally celebrated cinematographer who has worked with Martin Scorcese and Wim Wenders.) This monumental thirteen screen installation is a deeply American work, a poetic hauntology. Kroehling and Rinzler’s baroque, sensual epic weaves an era-spanning narrative that recounts the odd reality of an imagined composite American town called Dollarland. Crimes, daily life and small epiphanies mark the portrait of the town’s people haunted by the ghosts of the past. But the work's true subject is the solipsism and complacency of Dollarland founded on exploitation — a society forced to constantly oppress the underclass though history, and one where individual desires, everyday habits and general corruption work against the very idea of a "freedom". Dollarland's thirteen station installation is a bold reconsideration of cinema's possibilities, and a confirmation of the importance of intellect, feelings, history and sentience, exploring the American empire burlesque.
Dollarland is not without precedent. Some of our inspiration came from other works: “Spoon River Anthology”, “The Wisconsin Death Trip”, Italo Calvino’s “Imaginary Cities “ and Lars Von Trier’s film “Dogville”. Dollarland uses an ensemble cast and the central character of the ancient storyteller, who is at the heart of the work. But the main character of Dollarland is haunted Dollarland itself. Dollarland is made up of of imagery from many rusted cities to make a imagined and intensified composite city. The ensemble cast of living and the dead are the supporting players in a much greater story. We interweave the lives of those trapped between this life and the next, interwoven along with the present day characters.
The ancient Storyteller unveils the town’s shocking history from its first days through the great depression, during the wars, the fifties and to the present day. The story-teller's voice is tinged with irony and a world-weary wisdom. The story-teller is a bit of a prophet who communicates with a town full of ghosts, troubled souls, trapped like zombies in bodies not able to die inside of a distinctly American bardo.
Dollarland does not rest on a singular plot but many interwoven ones and unfolds in a multi-screen installation with controlled seepages of light and sound productively inflecting surrounding screens and redoubles the intensity. While each screen maintains its distinct identity, this is a work that bleeds together and longs to deliver new imaginings in a grand anthology.