Set in 2059, it is a contemporary interpretation of Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the first film directly based on the two parts of the tragedy. Starring Steven Berkoff and Martin Hancock, its soundtrack is based on Richard Wagner with tracks from the Swiss electronic music duo Yello.
Humm is now unveiling the next pieces of his ambitious project in an exhibition at London’s Bermondsey Project Space in October. Here you will be able to see 21 striking fine art photographs that Humm produced alongside his partner, photographer Daniele Mah, in adjacent studios during production of the film. Every scene, figure and costume is designed by Humm. The photographs will be accompanied by drawings, watercolors, oil paintings, sculptures and film clips.
“While some of the images followed Humm’s original pencil drawings,” the gallery describes, “he redrawn others around the natural evolution of the project as a whole. The result is a powerful collection of vivid, surreal images that push the boundaries of photography to fully capture Humm’s vision for The Last Faust. “
Of course, Faust remains one of culture’s most relevant and dramatic heroes – the story of a German necromancer or astrologer who sells his soul to the devil for knowledge and power. Goethe’s interpretation saw Faust as noble and his quest for knowledge central to the story – the ramifications of man’s lust for power and knowledge create extreme scenarios but with Faust’s resolve achieved by the redemption with God. Humm uses Goethe’s story as a compass for his own story, drawing on theology, mythology, science, and literature.
Humm’s interpretation draws on all of these elements, with a powerful commentary on humanity, power, and progress. There is also a fresh contemporary touch; It’s hard not to watch The Last Faust or see these new photographs without seeing an unintended direct correlation not only with Weinstein but Jeffrey Epstein, AI, Trump and the current controversy on TikTok.
Philipp Humm’s Fake Surrealist Photographs will launch on Friday October 5 and run through Saturday October 24, 2020 at the Bermondsey Project Space, 185 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UW.