10 April 2010 - 20 April 2010
Beton 7, Athens, GR
Despite the fact that video is theoretically in the realm of visual arts, it’s essentially an art in time (that’s from where the expression “time based media” originated). Since its core characteristic is duration, video is a visual art unfolding in time. And it’s exactly there that it meets up with music.Satie spreads a musical phrase through time and extends it in perpetuity through repetition. The 15 hour long performance of this piece gives birth to such a particular time experience both for the performer as well as for the person sitting in the audience.In Sleep (1963) Andy Warhol encapsulates and reflects real time. With the camera still, using gros plans, he films a sleeping man for 6 hours. During the shoot, each time that the film ended and had to be replaced, the artist would change the filming angle. The result is a series of frames that balance between movement and immobility as well as the only thing that happens is that the handsome sleeping man changes slightly his posture during his sleep and his chest moves with each breath.Sleep along with Kiss are Warhol's two important films which he created in 1963, the time he acquired his first 16mm Bolex movie camera silent. Similarly to this last film was the film Empire (1964), which is comprised by a steady 8 hour long frame showing the Εmpire State Building and through the only thing that happens, the grandiose passing from day into night, the artist used the cinematic medium to reflect real time. Through such works of experimental nature, lacking any type of story, action or story-telling, Warhol created in essence a new cinematic norm.The audience’s experience cannot be described in terms of a classical cinematic show. It is almost impossible to stay for all 6 hours, sitting in a viewing room focused on the film, in very much the same way that it’s almost impossible to have people stay for 15 hours in an auditorium attending a performance of Satie's work. These two artists suggest works that break away from the molds of conventional music or respectively of the typical cinematic experience by disorienting the audience who seek a way of living and coexisting with these works.In Totem (2001), Maider Fortuné dilates time through a slow moving repeating motif. The audience watches a monochromatic 10 minute cinematically aesthetic gros plan of a little girl's face that is skipping rope. The pulsing repeating movement is dilated and finally deconstructed through a slow motion that gradually slows down the speed of movement.Through picture slowdown, Fortuné performs a movement anatomy through time. The rhythm change gives different content in the viewing image. The girl's face is gradually decomposed bringing, just for a few seconds, to the surface the contour of her skull. As the picture becomes slower, and her facial expressions are distorted, the girl's juvenile innocence gives way to a scary and unfamiliar picture. Totem makes a direct reference to Douglas Davis’ 24 Hours Psycho, a piece of work-reference to the use of slow motion in video art, in which the artist slows down the same titled movie by Hitchcock so that it lasts 24 hours.Hans Op De Beeck in Staging Silence (2009) recreated visually an inner dreamscape of thoughts and memories. Using miniatures of objects he created patterns that function as background scenery. The audience watches all stages of creation: composition, decomposition, recombination through two hands that carefully make these sceneries by creating scenes of exceptional aesthetics. We see the materials get transformed: the lamp becomes the sun, the decorated tower, which is in essence a castle and after being eaten is transformed into ruins, paint brushes that carefully sweep the snow. Places without time or places without a locale, free from any trace of human presence, one succeeding the other and each organically connecting to the next as the new space maintains elements of the previous one. The use of microscopic materials and the hand creation process, with the artist's hands, touches the limits of poetry and s a reference to childhood. The piece of work resembles an effort to bring forth and reconstitute childhood experiences, pictures and places that left their mark on us, by transforming them in frames of exceptional aesthetics.