thank you beryl for the summary.
Last week I had a chat with an artist friend about the presentation of a
45 min. film during the re-opening of The Showroom
http://www.theshowroom.org/, that moved from the East of London to near
Edgware Road. The film "A Long Time Between Suns (Part 2)" is the second
installment of a two-part solo show by the Otolith Group, co-organised
with Gasworks. The films Otolith I and II were presented at Gasworks in
March 2009, this the second installment is the premiere Otolith III.
That evening, while a huge crowd of curious people gathered in- and
outside the two-floor gallery (refurbished warehouse), - it was one of
those supposedly last warm summer days on the island - I entered the
space and found it structured/laid out as a kind of cinematic space, a
large (research?) table surrounded by rows of seats, turned towards the
video projection that lit up the semi-dark environment. The film was the
new work by Otolith group. It felt somehow occult to NOT remaining for
some time to at least grasp some idea of the work, or, the other option
would be to totally ignore the work as such - and have drinks upstairs.
We discussed the 'usefulness' of more traditional settings for
'cinematic work' (linear, durational, not short, not to be grasped in a
few minutes or as an excerpt), to actually screen these in a movie
theatre. The experiences of "clip-consumption" that come along with
online environments and simultaneous watching of a number of screens,
did not seem to work here.
And we wondered what intentions the curators had by choosing precisely
this work for such an event??
I was also reminded of The Muriel Lake Incident 1999, a
Multimedia-Installation mit Stereo-Ton, by artists Janet Cardiff &
George Bures Miller
visitor stands in front of a large wooden box looking through a
rectangular opening to see a miniature model of a cinema with grey,
empty rows of seats, and a small projection screen onto which a film is
being projected. Listening on a pair of headphones they hear the
3-dimentional (binaural) sounds of the film, a woman next to them
talking and eating popcorn and a surprise ending including a gunshot and
a frightened audience." Interesting is that the sound is so constructed
that as audience who have the impression that it is simultaneously
inside and outside the theatre, inside the actual (minimised) film
theatre and in the actual exhibition space - there emerges a kind of
multilayered time in this 'collapse' of real space (awareness of being
possibly watched) and space of illusion (awareness of watching).
This might bring in other issues of spectatorship that brings us maybe
back to what Charlie mentioned in an early post re the focus on the
self, the non-autonomous self... art object versus time-based art.
From: Gere, Charlie
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 06:45:30 +0100
In his book Lack and Transcendence David Loy looks at the role the
desire for fame plays in attempts to master the fear that we are
nothing. I wonder if the continued fetish of and investment in the
object somehow relates to this need to assert an autonomous self. In the
gallery it presents a kind of ontological mirror reflecting back and
stabilising our own sense of self in its apparent stability and
autonomy. (Here one might look at Tony Bennett's work on the museum and
gallery as disciplinary institutions, imposing an exemplary discipline
of spectatorship). By contrast time-based art, interactive art, and all
art involving some form of interaction over time tend to do the
opposite. Perhaps this may be a partial explanation of the continued
resistance to such work in mainstream institutions
During my research in Tokyo in June this year I had a few discussions on
time in relation to Asian philosophies, also on notions of
anti-archives, the avoidance of creating one big mega-archive of
art/media/works (as a Western desire), and on research based curating -
as opposed to curating processes?
Yukiko Shikata (ICC) for example curates this (long-term) research
project Mission G, that evolves/transforms over time with in-between
states being presented in the gallery space.
http://www.ntticc.or.jp/Archive/2009/Opensalon20/index.html. We talked
about concept based curating, that allows for 'new' connections and
methodology driven by ideas. The exhibition I encountered was presented
as a 'complete installation' with live feed work, data, maps. ...
These three instances make apparent the focus on the context or site,
the discourse that the work brings along in a very particular setting,
in its time there (nothing new as such). Besides questions of the
institutional with its audiences that this brings along, as curator this
could be a possibility to perhaps be more experimental, make detours,
and leave things open.
Why not challenging the audience, why not being complex, why not taking
risks of 'bad' critic?
Is all curating "safe"?