The filmmaker Inger Lise Hansen’s work belongs to a tradition of experimental film that eschews the narrative constructs of mainstream cinema and documentary’s to objectivity. It’s a form of audio-visual art that also has little to do with video’s reliance on the confessional monologue or the in-your-face performance that is too often little more than a simulation of engagement.
Drawing upon structuralist/materialist film’s insistence upon the privileging of the cinematic event,
the phenomenology of light projected through a celluloid strip, whilst embracing the poetic inventiveness of artists like the Brothers Quay or Jan Svankmajer, Inger Lise Hansen has developed a personal, driven language of moving images. And it’s about time, at every level. The time it takes to painstakingly record the disintegration of a building, piece by piece. The time that is accelerated by the process of stop-frame animation, whereby events in the real world- the changing light of the sky, the sudden arrival of a bird or an insect- are mapped onto the constructed time of the animated event. The time it takes to project the completed animation and the time it takes the viewer to be absorbed into the space and time of the artwork.

All film and video is, of course, concerned with time, with its registration, deconstruction, reconstruction, but whereas many artists are content simply to occupy time, Inger Lise Hansen uses her medium to make time, and we the audience must take time, submit our quotidian schedules to the subtle twists and inversions of her constructed universe.
It has been stated before that artworks can function like time-machines; machines for making time, machines for transporting the viewer out of an objective relationship with time passing and into subjective experience of another time, within whose parameters a space opens up that is otherwise inaccessible. The place that Gaston Bachelard describes in the “Poetics of Space”- a territory of daydreams, phantasms.

One can see historical precedents for Inger Lise Hansen’s use of imagery in avant-garde films of earlier eras. The surrealism of Bunuel and Maya Deren; Michael Snow’s infusion of the space of the image with an attenuated dramatic resonance based on a gradual and compelling unfolding; the absurd deconstruction/celebration of causality in Fischli & Weiss’s "The Way Things Are".
In her recent works, Hansen synthesises these influences, drawing out the aspects that will best serve her personal vision, transforming them into grammatical elements in an evolving language that is her own.

In an era of globalisation, so-called deterritorialisation, a time when architecture becomes destabilised and provisional, Inger Lise Hansen’s films are like small parables about our relationship to space-in-time. The centrality of memory as a bearer of identity and personal history, coupled with an apparent disregard for history in a time of rapid recycling can be taken as core motifs for our post-millennial culture. The imagery in Hansen’s recent films evoke both nomadism and a longing for a lost innocence, an era of optimism in our recent history that has been swept away by the brutal realities of the last two decades. As we become absorbed in the playful destruction of a dwelling and marvel at the artist’s inventiveness in her maximisation of simple means, we are also made aware that this event is analogous to destructive events in the real world as well as in the world of Hollywood entertainment.
If the average contemporary Hollywood blockbuster is little more than a catalogue of spectacular effects that celebrate destruction in a fit of pornographic glee, numbing us to the brutal realities of forced migration and genocide, then Hansen’s work, by laying bare its own constructed illusions is a poetic, aesthetic warning to us. It’s about time the film industry stopped amusing us to death.
It’s about time the violence and destruction ended. It’s about time the works of an original, inventive artist gained wider recognition in her homeland.

Jeremy Welsh, Bergen, August 2001