The Walter Markersen Archives

Film stills

There was a young lady of Wight
Who traveled much faster than light.
She departed one day,
And arrived on the previous night

This work is an attempt to reconstruct and present the uncompleted sci-fi film of Walter Markersen known only by its working title “Atlas”. Walter Markersen (1922 – 79) is a Scandinavian avant-guard artist and film-maker, born in Copenhagen. Except his movies and his experimental devices, Markersen left behind a lot of undeveloped films and manuscripts full of notes about the projects he did not find a way, financial or else, to complete. “Atlas” was to be a mid-length science fiction movie about a dystopian future and time travels, shot in 16 mm black and white film.

In his notebook, dated back to 1968, Markersen notes about the “Atlas” film: people live between war and memory, void and the space-time continuum; no one knows if they are actually alive or dead; Or otherwise. Later there are paragraphs in the manuscript describing his personal research on inter-stellar passages and journeys through time. The project was never completed leaving nearly 150 minutes of undeveloped material and a draft script.

After his participation to the social struggles of Copenhagen and the so-called “Fight of Christiania”, Markersen remained strangely silent for the next 8 years, up to his death in 1979. The last undeveloped films were opened in 2007 at the Danske Film Lab. These materials are shown here juxtaposed to fragments from the movie’s last draft script .


S. Nørregaard

Nørrebro – Copenhagen, 2022