Rip-Off / an Orchidelirium trilogy film

Film version with end titles 15 min 24 sec, dcp, color and sound 5.1


Exhibition video loop version 13 min 37 sec, 4k, color, stereo sound


Copyright Rühm Pluss Null, 2022


In Rip-Off the intimate tension between a lady of the manor and her servant keen to mimic her mistress is embodied by a pair of Doppelgängers. The performance of the two women becomes increasingly intimate, embodying and eroticising the tension between the colonizer and the colonized and the entanglement of their fantasies and desires. The film is set in various manor houses in Estonia, the architectural legacy of foreign colonial power. Prior to the collapse of the Russian empire the manors used to belong to the German-speaking nobility that had dominated the Baltics for centuries. In the film, the privilege of the Baltic upper class is not associated with leisure, but with women’s artistic aspirations.


Rip-Off is an episode of Kristina Norman’s Orchidelirium film trilogy.

Commissioned for the Estonian Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.


Kristina Norman’s Orchidelirium film trilogy offers multiple ways to reflect on the legacies of colonialism. Investigating forgotten connections between Eastern Europe and the global south, it relates to the post-Socialist countries’ often uncomfortable rediscovery of their colonial history. The trilogy departs from research on an Estonian couple, Emilie and Andres Saal who end up as members of the colonial administration and elite in the Dutch colony in Indonesia in the late nineteenth century. Working with the Saals’ life stories and archives, Norman is intrigued by the conversion of the colonized into the colonizer and the hybrid identities resulting from this, full of controversies and tensions. Thus from a more global perspective her films also speak about the anxious relations between the colonial elites and the colonial subjects, and the ever-present afterlife of those liaisons. Including acts by three performance artists, the films explore the longing for privilege and abundance, as well as the environmental effect of these desires on the invisible consumption of human labour and non-human animals, plants, soil and water in the age of the Anthropocene. Being first and foremost interested in the contemporaneity of colonial past, the films explore the workings of neo-colonialism in the age of accelerating crisis, but also hint towards the possibility of resistance.



Author and Director: Kristina Norman

Choreographer and Lead Cast: Karolin Poska

Assistant Choreographer: Teresa Silva

Supporting Cast: Piia Haab, Hilkka Hiiop and Hannes Vinnal

Cinematographer: Erik Norkroos

Composer: Märt-Matis Lill

Advisors: Linda Kaljundi and Ulrike Plath

Curator: Corina Apostol

Producer: Erik Norkroos

Assistant Director: Meelis Muhu

Additional Camera: Meelis Muhu, Jörgen Norkroos and Kullar Viimne

1st Assistant Camera: Epp Kubu

2nd Assistant Camera: Maksim Podolski

Editing: Erik Norkroos

Colour Grading: Max Golomidov

Digital Effects: Lauri Laasik

Field Recording: Mart Kessel-Otsa

Studio Recording and Mix: Tammo Sumera

Musician: Kadri-Ann Sumera (piano)

Set Design Assistants: Karin Tetsmann and Liisi Eelmaa

Graphic Design: Laura Pappa

Production Assistance: Sten Ojavee and Sirli Oot

Technical Assistance: Aleksei Zaitsev, Henry Kasch and Vaiko Edur


Produced by Rühm Pluss Null

in collaboration with CCA Estonia