Alliance francaise du Bengale, Francesca Fini Performance Art India Robert Cahen, Marcus Shahar , W:OW- We are One World, Littlei, Italian Embassy Culture Centre, New Delhi, & Culture Monks are delighted to present the # International Video Art Xibition on April 28, 2017 at Alliance francaise du Bengale . Park Mansions, Park Street from 5;30 pm – 9 pm.
# International Video Art Xibition will be a screening cutting edge video art pieces by video & performance artists from throughout the world on parallel screens. We are very fortunate to be exhibiting the works of top video artist from the world, notable among them are Robert Cahen (France), Francesca Fini (Italy), Marcus Shahar (Israel), Netzaket Ekici (Germany). We will also screen selection of work by well known curator Wilfried Agricola de Colonge and Francesca Fini. We will screening 43 video art pieces by 31 artists.
Entry to the xibition is free and please feel to drop in at any time between 5:30 pm – 9 pm for the experience.
Below the are details of the artists, their statements and the videos which will be screened.
Artist : Robert Cahen
Bio & Curatorial Statement
Robert Cahen is one of the most important and internationally renowned artists in the realm of experimental video. Right from the early 1970s, he was among the first Europeans to tackle the technology of electronic imagery and to employ new machines, testing their effects and attempting, like a pioneer, to extract their fullest expressive potential.
As a musician who adopts a poetic approach to images, Cahen is primarily inspired by the image itself and what it evokes. That constitutes the key visual core of the work of this artist who still remains hard to classify. Yet Cahen’s overall oeuvre also engages with and recasts stereotyped genres like documentary, fiction, and news reports, along with more recent, less traditional genres like dance videos.
Sandra Lischi, 1997, Edizioni ETS, Pisa, Italy.
Voyage d’hiver (Winter Travel)
From “that was” to “have we gone?” “Antarctica approached, observed, scrutinized, analyzed, displaced. Questions about the reading of the landscape, the reading of movement: a journey of memory, in slow motion, like “to have time to know finally” (Roland Barthes).
It was in post-production that the imagination of the place came to us, the expected winter white missing, we were in full southern summer and it was necessary to cover artificial ice, digital, forms, geological structures, this immensity. In 1992, I wrote about this, “to imagine these white places, I think I can announce that my work will be, to a certain extent, confronted with a minimalism of color.
I shall therefore seek, in accordance with this minimalism, from white to blue white, in the light of day rising, or in that diffracted from the clouds, to rhythm my work of shooting, and to organize as a painter prepares his color. (Robert Cahen, Revue Turbulences Video n ° 34, January 2002)
Le cercle (The circle)
The Svalbard, the archipelago of the Arctic North, marks the end of our sensitive world: beyond that, the frozen expanse , Uniforms, abstract The blue of Robert Cahen’s film, which is the image of cold and loneliness, the slowness of the landscapes to which birds fly and the movement of appropriately equipped men to confront the Mysteries of this unique land, are in harmony with its bewildering desolation.Svalbard imposes, to whom it traverses, its law, which is that of the confines: to explore and to know them, to agree with them. (Daniel Baillon)
Sanaa, passages en noir (Sanaa, passages in black)
The video was filmed in Sana’a, capital of Yemen, where women veiled in black go through a narrow alley. The fleeting but repetitive aspect of the reworked image gives the video a hypnotic character that reinforces the choice of music: an excerpt from Jean-Sébastien Bach’s Passion according to St John. Beyond the work on The notion of passage, the artist stages an unexpected exchange between two cultures.
Plus loin que la nuit) (Farther than night)
Hanoi 2004, a woman wears her hair in the night, a train passes between houses, a crowd presses, jostles and works, a forgotten child waits.
It is above all a question of transport, portering, traveling. Bikes, packages, trucks jostle in the image, cross it, pass it. A train like a ghost which seems never to arrive at some station in Hanoi, which perforates, absorbs, swallows an overpopulated and confined urban space; It is an emblem of the daily tension and the usual inattention of the people in front of an order of things that they rub shoulders since their night of time.
Nothing of ethnological or sociological obviously in this short film. The relation to individuals, faces and looks can not be established
That after having captured the permanent move of the anonymous crowd that crosses a superb screen.
And it is in fact like an interior, memorable, timeless journey which assigns to images and sounds no immediate relation to meaning, to continuity, to rationality, which sometimes demands that movements slow down, that another Horizon appears – this mountain planted in the sea that suggests another enigmatic immensity -, that night gives way to the day, that night comes back, that black and white draws the cinematic impression towards the photographic framing.
“Farther than the night” ends on the face of a little isolated girl that seems a little lost in the urban agitation. He speaks against the feeling that a city will always escape us as it even seems absent from this little girl.
This film, at bottom, does not tell anything else and it is already huge: it is the reverse of a visit, the opposite of a documentary approach, its denial, a proof that knowledge, even recognition , Exist only on the surface, a little vainly, when experience doubles the sensation and irremediable strangeness of the world do not precede them.
Curator : Francesca Fini
Bio & Curatorial Statement
Francesca Fini is an artist working with new media, experimental cinema and performance art. With in-depth training as a digital artist and filmmaker, she has worked for 15 years in the field of TV production.
She says, “I am basically a performer. The action of a body, generally mine, in space and time is essential in my work. My videos and my tangible works are the chapters of a never-ending story of which I am the protagonist.
My body, the ship on which I make this long exploration, has always been a battlefield. Former anorexic, eternal feminist, still and always a lone wolf in search of the moon between the branches of the trees.
Recently I am interested in the creation of surrealistic and site-specific performance-based art films. They are medium-length or long-feature films that try to interpret the place in which they are conceived and produced – indeed its “genius loci” – through a very hybrid and experimental language that includes video performance, videoart, participatory symbolic actions, documentarism and “situationism” in the form of artistic video guerrilla. All these works always begin with a deep preliminary research on local culture and history, possible locations for filming, the symbols, objects and significant materials to be used in the actions, the human resources to be involved from the community: performers, actors, local professionals.”
ITALIAN WAVE : a selection of video works from Italy curated by Francesca Fini
My work as a videoartist has allowed me to know over the years, through festivals and exhibitions – in Italy but especially abroad – many Italian artists with whom I share materials, suggestions, methods and destinies. Recurring names that I often find next to mine in exhibition catalogs, Facebook events and press-releases. People that I meet for the first time – as it happened even too often – on the other side of the world. Then I smile and feel a sense of familiarity and respect; here is someone like me who carries on her/his work with absolute stubbornness, often against everyone and everything.
The videos that I have chosen for this Italian selection within Momentum Festival in Kolkata, are the works of the most interesting Italian artists that I have known over the years. These videos tell – with different languages ranging from video performance to 3d animation – the infinite possible ways to be alive in this battered world, to renegotiate our relationship with the others, with our bodies, with the landscape, with that sense of loneliness and separation which often comes from the constant questioning we share in Art.
Italian Wave program – in order of appearance :
Francesca Romana Pinzari / I ain’t superstitious
A lonely bride walks through an empty church. None is walking with her and none is waiting forher. The pavement is made of mirrors that she crashes under her hills at every step. Italy is a very superstitious country, actions like crashing mirrors and get dressed as a bride not on your wedding day is bad luck. The lonely bride walks over traditions and superstitions and crash them under her shoes, by doing that she crashes her own identity by crashing her own image inside the mirror.
Elisabetta Di Sopra / Legami
A heart becomes symbolic place of emotions. Pierced by a red thread it represents all ties. We baste it with the people we love. Every time is an attack to the heart; love is unbreakable from suffering and the human condition to be vulnerable, prevents us from separating them.
Eleonora Manca / Reverse Metamorphosis
The suggestion given by the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii, potentially immortal (it is reported to have a “reverse metamorphosis”, as it is able to revert to the stage of sea anemone, reliving backwards each stage of its metamorphosis, to develop again into jellyfish) was here chosen in order to highlight the life cycle of every being. At the same time, it supports a sort of “yearning” for what we were about to meet in our “journey”. Thus, a path of metamorphosis, into the heart of the energy of what we were going to “become”.
Alessandro Amaducci / I Am Your Database
You have only one life. In the videogame of life the final battle has begun, and the winner is already decided. Database of life, database of death.
Igor Imhoff / Kurgan
The meaning of kurgan is grave. In fact, here reigns feeling like a gravestone in a Scene deliberately hyper-realistic, made with a technique in 3D. In this context materialize the characters, ghosts, or rather of simulacra, who immediately opposed in a fight to the last ‘particle.
Gianluca Abbate / Panorama
Panorama is the first chapter of a trilogy on the city. The video is a review on a polis that stretches away over an infinite global space with no more uninhabited places nor frontiers where we can take refuge. In this landscape we cannot see any way of readmission for those who have once been excluded, and this recalls imaginary worlds in
search of a balance.
Chiara Mu / Decresce (Decrease)
Working around the concept of the Degrowth, as expressed by the economist S. Latouche, I made the point to consider how fruitful it might be investing our time into the oneiric state, instead of pushing each other into the inescapable spinning wheels of the super production, shamefully required today by the ruling capitalist system.
Debora Vrizzi / Frame Line
Frame line is a space between two frames, a line separating feelings from rationality, it represents the empty and still space of waiting. By revisiting Penelope’s myth, I want to underline the conceptual and physical density of emotions, the turmoil caused by a failure. Penelope weaves her hair like the spider its own net; the wind, now melting into the water, moves her dress in a seducing dance for the emptiness.
Curator : Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Bio & Curatorial Statement
The W:OW Project – We Are One World was launched 2017 as a media art project directed and curated by Agricola de Cologne to be realized in an exchange between virtual and physical space (online/offline) – the Global and the Local, dealing with the most essential question of human existence, eg. the survival of the human species on planet EARTH. The project is covering a wide range of digital artistic media (moving, interactive and static images, and non-visual media like soundart) to be released in different presentation formats during a period of several years – the online/offline W:OW project core, the travelling W:OW Art Film & Video Festival and the virtual and physical W:OW exhibition in different constellations (digital & analogue media).
W:OW – We Are One World – that‘s a statement of self-confidence, a real existing positive value and philosophical knowledge, however, an Utopia only, but no real existing practice. As a topic, it is therefore not reduced to some essential issues like ecology, biodiversity or sustainability but the whole bandwidth of issues based on compliance with human rights, mutual respect, equal rights, equal access to education and equal chances for all, the freedom of movement, freedom of the word, art and sciences which however are guaranteed just by a few democratic constitutions, but practiced in real even on a more marginal scale.
If we are truly one world, then whom does it belong to? Governments? States? Corporations, industrial companies, banks? Individuals? Or probably the citizens of the states, the inhabitants of the earth, that is, mankind? Or does it belong simply to life, and it is mankind as the only intelligent structure being able to take its responsibility for protecting the entire biological life in all its facets against any exploitation and misuse at the expenses of the Whole, no matter what biological system it is, whether the human, animal or plant life, the rainforest or the deep sea, or the meadows and streams before our own doorstep.
Without supranational administrative structures which would have the power to set through these fundamental rights for all inhabitants on Earth and solve the global threats, without the knowledge, that each individual on Earth has to take its individual responsibility for the Whole on a local scale, it will be a very long, probably too long way to overcome all the manifold threats preventing that the Utopia may come true – nearly all of them are –human made – that’s also the basic keyword: just to name some threats – the exploitation of the natural resources to the short notice profit of just a few globally acting corporations destroying the natural environment sustainably– the global warming and the climate change as a result of this misuse taking a dramatic impact on the environment and the nature as the living habitat enforcing people to migrate, threatening animals, plants and the biological systems with extinct, making the resources of fresh water shrink on all continents which has the huge potential for military conflicts in future , the military conflicts of the Present to the benefit of some totalitarian regional powers like in Middle East, Africa or Ukraine, and the overwhelming globalization as a result of the rapid development of new technologies, making people anxious they might loose their identity and privileges, and populist political movements try to manipulate and misuse the emotional uncertainty of these people and destroy all the real civilizational achievements made during the past decades and centuries, by reviving most destructive ancient nationalistic, extremist, fascist and even terrorist ideologies which have the potential to catapult the human civilization back on an pre-industrial stone-age like state, while the true problems of global and local nature leave, however, unrestrained escalating.
Based on the two maxims „We Are One World“ and „The Global meets the Local“, referring to the biggest and the smallest nucleus alike – the planet as a whole and the smaller geographic and social unities like the continents, regions, country, town, village, community , tribe or family or nature as a biological living habitat – each one representing a cosmos of its own: the smaller the unity, the more people feel emotionally affected being willing to take personal responsibility, the bigger the unity, the more the common world and taking responsibility for it becomes an Utopia.
The dynamically structured W:OW Project has to be considered as such a sample cosmos, a progressive and experimental common world on a small scale in which the participating instances (artists, curators, etc) are taking a particular responsibility for the “Whole”, as well as for each other. In this way The W:OW Project is representing for them the platform for approaching the Utopia by developing concepts, asking questions and giving answers through the creative works to be incorporated.
As a global networking project between artvideoKOELN & The New Museum of Networked Art and associated networking partners, „The W:OW Project“ is inviting cultural activists like artists and curators from all over the world working in different disciplines to reflect (critically) Present and Future of our planet as the place where life as such, the amazing diversity of a magnificent nature and the human species had the chance to arise with all the civilisatory achievements based on humanity, empathy and creativity, expressed for instance, in art, the sciences and a free and open society.
CologneOFF 2017 India II
WOW.03 / India
W:OW Art Film & Video Festival
(We Are One World // Art Film & Video Festival)
We Will Fail :curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Olga Ozieranska (Poland) – We will fail, 2015
The video is about a relation between girl and boy living in the same flat, but different rooms. They don’t know anything about each other. Their rooms are symbols of different realities. Strange things begin to happen in the flat. When the boy is out the girl sneaks into his room and discovers this secret.
Olga Ozierańska was born in Poland, in 1986. She is a photographer, film director and editor. Olga received her Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Art in Poznan in 2011. She also studied in Spain and received a grant at Central Saint Martins in London. In 2011-13 was working with artistic group OKO.
Her works have been exhibited in Holland,Germany, Spain, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania and Poland.
Ninfa Sánchez & Karen Vilchis (Mexico) – Absence – Breve Ausencia, 2014
A man trapped in a memory.
Francois Knoetze (South Africa) – CAPE MONGO – PAPER, 2015
Born in Cape Town, 1989, Francois Knoetze is a performance artist, sculptor and filmmaker. He holds a BA Fine Arts degree from Rhodes University and an MFA in Fine Arts degree from Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT.
In 2012 Knoetze featured as one of Art South Africa magazine’s ‘Bright Young Things’ and was recently selected as one of Mail & Guardian’s ‘Top 200 Young South Africans’ of 2015. Knoetze’s work incorporates video, performance and sculpture, as he retraces the life cycles of discarded objects and explores junctures between material and social histories. In his Mongo* sculptural suits, the synthetic is welded to the human – bringing focus to the objectification of persons, through the personification of objects.
His most recent work, Cape Mongo, formed part of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival Main Programme in 2015. He has participated in group exhibitions, such as U/Tropia at the Wiener Festwochen in Germany (2015), Slow Violence at the University Stellenbosch Art Gallery (2015) and Designing Futures at the Lagos Photo Festival (2015). His work has also been shown at a number of local and international film festivals, including the 17th Paris Festival for Different and Experimental Cinema, Artvideo Koeln: Audiovisual Experiences in Cologne (2015), Infecting The City Public Art Festival in Cape Town (2015), Usurp Zone5 Film Festival at the Usurp Art Gallery & Studio in London (2015), the FILMIDEO International Film Festival at the Index Art Center in Newark, New Jersey (2015) and OK.Video Film Festival in Indonesia (2015).
Cape Mongo follows a number of characters as they journey through the city of Cape Town. Each Mongo character is made from the city’s discarded waste –mythical ‘trash creatures’ which have emerged from the growing dumps of consumer culture. In the film s, the creatures revisit the spaces of their imagined pasts –the locations associated with their material existence and the constitution of their social relations – as if walking against the consumer -driven currents of city. The film following the Paper character provides an account of CapeTown’s current housing crisis and failure to address the deeply entrenched racially and spatially defined economic disparities of the past. I have also explored notions of home by interrogating my experience of belonging in the city as something which is mediated by power structures produced through the dispossession and alienation of others.
Mongo n. slang. object thrown away and then recovered.
Ausin Sainz (Spain) – 3 2, 1 Liberty, 2015
“The social conditions to which we are subjected by the system, from the moment we are born and until our death, are important enough that they go unnoticed. I denounce the irregular by resorting to the weapons I have, the work of art. With a figurative treatment, endowed with a certain artifice and contemporaneity, I argue each of my works.
From the subtle and symbolic to the brash and violent realism, I conceive the subjects with which I work with great respect. Developing projects from a research perspective, understanding the creation process as part of an act of communication relevant and necessary for a better knowledge about the complex society in which we live and the changes to which it is subjected.
I present a critical reflection on the values established by today’s society, on the quest for success at any price, for rejection of failure, for ugliness, for rarity, for the need to always be original but never different, globalization, Consumerism and our accelerated pace of life.
I conceive the world as a theater in which humanity is subdued and the only way to escape is death. But that death, which may well be emotional, social, or physical, is cushioned by romanticism, the beauty of the context or by the symbology (in many cases religious) that diminishes the desolation of the fact itself and endows meaning with the composition Ending showing feelings like pain, guilt or loneliness. My life, my experiences and those of my surroundings are the source of inspiration. I try to make a social complaint of everything that in my opinion is subject to modify.
I look for timelessness and a lack of localization , Based on neutral funds, in order to achieve maximum generality. The models used are always the same, my sister for the female figures and mine for the masculine, focusing even more on established ideas.
The hardness of the treated subject contrasts with the beauty of the result. Through this beauty I capture the attention of the viewer. Being in the room means participating directly or indirectly in the subject matter. The floor and walls carry joint information. The visitor steps on the work since the ground is worked with adhesive forms. In many works he is asked to participate directly, This is how we can bring our world into this world.”
Islamic terrorists have carried out more than 20,968 deadly terrorist attacks since 9/11. When and where will be next?
Gabriele Stellbaum (Deutschland) – “ill-timed moments”
Gabriele Stellbaum was born in Berlin, Germany. She exhibited extensively in solo and group shows in Europe and the U.S. Her video work is in public and private collections in the US and abroad. Her video work has recently been reviewed at Artnet.com and Director’s Lounge. Stellbaum is director, producer, script writer and actor for her video works.
“ill-timed moments” captures a short episode in the life of a middle aged woman brewing coffee in a her tiny kitchen. A small but unexpected incident leads to an intense liberating reaction. One by one she is destroying her old tableware. With an enormous focus she is taking herself out on the broken dishes, stamping them to small pieces with her feet. Her agitated clean-up action ends with smashing her head into the kitchen cupboards. The melodic sounds of her performance play a crucial role in this video.
Francesca Lolli (Italy) – The last day of humanity , 2014
The last day of humanity is a metaphor about the extinction of the human race, which will happen when the last woman on heart will be buried at the hand of men.
Art Is Indivisible
Anca Bucur (Romania) – The confession of an aphasic writer, 2014
The confession of an aphasic writer is a videopoem based on the main statements of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico – Philosophicus which put into discussion the relation between language and reality, focusing upon the structural isomorphism, the logical identity between
the two. The aphasic subject finds himself in the impossibility of actualizing the connection between reality and language, lacking the capacity of expressing the language he contains and which in turn contains him. Therefore, his only solution remains the invention of a new language which would legitimate his existence in a linguistically structured world.The videopoem is generated by a program coded to synchronize the frequency levels of the voice with the visuals. Glitches are produced by randomly altering bytes in each frame and the amount of randomness is determined by the sound spectrum. The interrupted, fuzzy, glitched image constitutes a representation of the incomplete aphasic discourse, while the polyphony emphasizes the necessity of repetition into (dez)organizing the body.
Gregg Biermann (USA) – Iterations, 2014
“A sequence from Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) is sliced into nineteen columns, each moving at a slightly different speed, getting progressively faster from left to right. Only at one instant do all nineteen columns briefly align. This film invites us to experience different instants of the scene simultaneously, invoking our desire for time to cohere into a single instant but only briefly allowing for this satisfaction.” — Jaimie Baron
A video artist whose work comes out of the avant-garde filmmaking tradition but takes advantage of the power of recent digital technologies to advance rigorous compositional strategies.
Machia & Lolina (UK) – Chamelion Seeking Colour, 2015
In a darkened room, children whisper secrets to each other and enter a world of pigments. They imagine geometrical shapes that mutate like chromophores. The ability to change their colour is a notorious characteristic of the chameleons, but only recently it has been observed that they love dressing up as housewives, metalworkers, greengrocers.
Filmmaker Martina Moor and animator Giulia Palombino were commissioned by Fondazione Magica Cleme Onlus to create a playful short film with a group of children who are currently undergoing therapeutic cancer treatment. The children are both protagonists and co-authors of the film.
Emil Zenko & Evgenij Romashov (Belarus) – Maslenitsa, 2015
It’s difficult to motivate the most part of Belarusians to be interested in Art. People rare attend
exhibitions. Although, there are crowds of people on such festivity, as Maslenitsa with kitsch decorations and burning of the “Maslenitsa” effigy. In our video “Maslenitsa” we worked with
metaphor: empty fields were similar to empty galleries. Also we have burned out our first academic works in the name of our future success. There is a popular belief: the act of burning of “Maslenitsa” effigy should bring fruitful forces. Our “performance” -it’s the desire to pay attention of Belarusians to the contemporary art
Valerio DE BONIS (Italy) – “I would claw my eyes out”, 2015
This videoArt work tries to suggest to better direct your own point of view. The concept lies in the relationship between appearance and reality. Sometimes it happens that a lot of side effects are caused by the preponderance of the aspect among the content.
“I would claw my eyes out” show you that by directing your personal perspective you can reduce that undesirable effects.
Francesca Fini (Italy) – Virus, 2012
VIRUS (2012) a video by Francesca Fini produced by Bionica 4 Dummies music by Luciano Foglia A video on the obsessive manipulation of my own image, which becomes a metaphor for the general confusion between real and virtual of the “Société du spectacle” prefigured by Guy Debord. The digital culture and its tools become a self-destructive virus. I could work on the face of Osama Bin Laden, but the fake photo-montage spread by the media as proof of his death is already an unattainable work of art . I then brought the concept within myself, in the heart of my “feminine”
WOW Israel : curated by Ynin Shillo
Curatorial statement- Ynin Shillo
Thanks to the predetermined theme of the W:OW project, I chose to the Israeli strip only works that I really loved and love is not something that can be explained. Actually I placed the works in the way I placed them on the timeline by a wave that is reflecting the rhythm of this love of mine.
Shahar Marcus (Israel ) – Seeds, 2012
The work “Seeds” explores the phenomenon of the buried mines that exist in Israel and the world over, exposing how these areas still carry the consequence of the war within their soil while supporting the new populations who must inhabit the conflict area. It examines the power of the present moment in these places where efforts are beginning to shift these death zones into places that consciously affirm life, embracing continuity in the very place where it once was blocked.
Moshe Vollach (Israel) – 31 Cubes, 2013/2016
31, π x π x π, cubes aliened, π distanced from each other.
A row of, 61 identical-size cubes, is stretched toward the horizon, composing a string of: matter cube –space cube – matter cube – space cube……
The cubes are made of ice, placed in the desert ona hot summer day. The defrosting process is
documented from the air and from the ground.
When the process is complete, a row of 61 identical cubes remains: space cube –space cube –
space cube – space cube………..
This land-art project discusses: global warming, icebergs defrosting, radical climate changes and desertification.The project accentuates –formative, climatic, physical, mathematical and geomorphologic -contrasts.The art-work refers to the relationship between matter and space in the field of art in general and sculpture in particular.
Ynin Shillo (Israel) – War, 2014
The video ends with a duplication of an image of a woman revealing herself from the darkness that is surrounding her, and the sentence: “And they did not understand”.
This is a part of a series called “We came “(Anu Banu) that deal with roots.
Regev Amrani (Israel) – Fathers, 2015
(no summary available)
Aya Nitzan (Israel) -Gun Barrel Track Gaze, 2016
(no summary available)
Natali Issahary (Israel) – Dune, 2016
Dune” is part of a larger project called “Phe\Noumena” which explores the interplay between
reality as it is (Noumena) and reality as it is perceived (Phenomena).
In this series, I investigate action and reaction, both chemical and physical and examine how these relate to our Culture, the Laws of Nature and Man’s Place in the Environment. I perform pointless, pseudo-scientific experiments and expose different materials to extreme conditions all the while, documenting their progression of death and decay (Vanitas).
Developments which usually take years are measured in mere minutes, while the passage of time is transformed into an almost physical presence.
Netzaket Ekici & Shahar Marcus (Israel) -Fossiles, 2014
In the video performance Fossils, we encounter Ekici and Marcus as an isolated pair of human beings in a new desert: this time it is a gray landscape of slagheaps, where they move in search of useful (mineral) resources. What they find is what is left behind by coal mining: they bring this slag back whence it came: underground, into a mysterious labyrinth of caves where their camp is located. It consists of a bed, a resting place, but one that does not offer the performers any protection. Their camp appears to be extremely tense and constantly threatened by falling remnants of stone, until the bed becomes a coffin under the weight of the accumulated slag. Does humanity suffocate under what it has wrested from nature? Or is this too an image of the human connection to the earth on which they live and by which they, like all living things, are absorbed which like all living things, are absorbed when they die.
Artist : Shahar Marcus
Bio & Curatorial Statement
Shahar Marcus (b. 1971) is an Israeli based artist who primary works in the medium of performance and video art. His initial works dealt with the exploration of his own body and its limitations- incorporating various perishable materials, such as dough, juice and ice. His body served as an instrument, a platform on which various ‘experiments’ took place: lying on the operating table, set on fire, dressed in a ‘bread suit’ and more.
Food is also a major theme in Marcus’s works. For instance, his recurrent use of bread as a symbol of essentiality and survival is juxtaposed with military symbols. By working with food, a perishable, momentary substance and by turning it into a piece of clothing or a set, Marcus also flirts with art history; transforming arbitrary objects and materials into something immortal and everlasting.
His early video-performances feature himself along with other artists, with whom he had collaborated in the past. However, in his recent works, Marcus appears by himself, while embodying different roles and characters. ‘The man with the suit’ is a personage that was born from an intuitive desire to create a ‘clean-cut’ version of an artist, juxtaposed to the common visual stereotype of the artist as a laborer. Drawing influence from Magritte’s familiar figure- the headless suit, a symbol of Petite bourgeoisie, Marcus embodies this man with a suit as an artist who is in charge, a director.
His most recent works deal with local political issues, by approaching iconic Israeli landmarks with a critical and humorous point of view. Thus, Marcus reflects on his own heritage, environment and the creation of local historical narratives. His works are influenced by the visual language of cinematography along with familiar themes and tributes to art – history and artists, such as Ives Klein, Paul McCarthy, Peter Greenway and Jackson Pollack.
In the video work home coming artist you can see the artist Shahar Marcus driving with his parents in his hometown Petah Tikva which is a small city near Tel Aviv. During the ride the people of the town are being asked do they know or heard about the artist. None of the people know and most of them don’t care about art at all. The drive implicates the gap between the art scene and the common citizen in small towns such as the artist hometown.
The video leap of faith starts with a shot of the artist wearing a suit, standing on the window’s edge, getting ready to make the leap of his life to the wide open space. The artist is hesitating, having difficulties in creating a momentum to jump, but eventually jumps. Surprisingly he freezes horizontally, while his feet touch the window’s edge – homage to the known work of Yves Klein “Artist jumps into the void (1959). When the shot opens up it appears that the window from which the artist was afraid to jump is just a few feet above ground. The camera stands still presenting a grotesque and surreal image of the artist hanging between heaven and earth.
The camera focuses on the artist’s point of view, who wants to break through from the inside to the outside. The artist is presented trying to jump out of the window, like Icarus who tried to climb up and reach the sun, when his ambition is to overcome gravity and his own fears with the help of willpower and courage. The artist chooses to do so in an exhibitionist way, through a huge window, that allows everyone around to see the struggle of the artist and watch his fears. By the leap through the window the artist eliminates the physical barrier as he breaks through. The surrealist position of the artist where his feet touch the sill and his body is suspended between heaven and earth merger the inside and outside.
In the video the artist chooses to use the window in an unusual way, in order to achieve his goal. The artist’s fear, arising from a possible failure, leads to hesitation in accomplishing his goal. The failure, however, is not so painful as the window is just a few feet away from the ground. The work criticizes two characteristics of the human nature. One is the fear form failure and social criticism that can paralyze and prevent breaching borders, while in many cases, like in the work, such fears are only in the person’s (the artist) eyes, as the fall is not so painful. The second is wining glory at any price, where like in the work – the act seems heroic, in the artist’s perception, while it seems grotesque in for the viewers.
In this video art by Shahar Marcus two figures play chess with large chessmen made of ice. The passage of time is marked by the melting of the ice and the movement of the huge hourglass filled with Styrofoam balls that revolves with every move of the game. Inside the hourglass the artist stands like Chronos, the Greek god of time. The rotation of the hourglass, the melting chess pieces, and the alternation of black and white stand out in the location in which the scene was filmed: the plaza outside the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum. This building houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the famous War Scroll, which describes the apocalyptic battle between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness, when the familiar passage of time will give way to the timescale of myth.
The video work “The curator” offers a glimpse into “behind the scenes” of the art world which characterize mainly biennials and large festivals. The work is using comic effects and describe the art scene as a detached, elitist bubble. The video is built as a trailer like in the Hollywood film industry. The quick short scenes tells the story The revelation and the rise of the curator in the art world. Accompanied by a Hollywood style voice over narrator and a fast rhythm editing the work suggests a wider look on issues of our contemporary culture like idolizing celebrities and the instant superstars that are being born every new day.
Performance Video : Marcus Shahar & Netzaket Ekici
Bio & Curatorial Statement
Nezaket Ekici (born November 1, 1970 in Kırşehir , Turkey ) is a German performance artist of Turkish origin. She lives and works in Berlin, Stuttgart and Istanbul.
Her work mainly includes performances, videos and installations. In more than 30 countries, she presented more than 120 different performances. She had her first museum retrospective in 2011/2012 with her exhibition Personnel Map, to be continued … , which was shown in the project Kraftwerk Depot in MARTa Herford . Personal Map as a hiking exhibition, was shown in 2013 at the Cultuurcentrum De Bond, Bruges .
The work of the artist is based on the conceptual design of ideas that originate in everyday life and are expressed in installations and performances. The cultural atmosphere in which art takes place and before which it is consumed is also addressed as well as abstraction: physicality, time, movement and space. The artist always tries to establish an interaction with the audience in a space-encompassing, dynamic and culture-atmospherically charged “art event” in the sense of a “Gesamtkunstwerk”. The interaction aims to create a field of thought for new associations and thoughts, which stimulates the perpetuation of communication about certain cultural phenomena, which are thematized in the work of art.
She is internationally represented by six gallery owners, who are spread around the world on four continents.
Field of Breaths
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Salt Dinner is a unique video-performance project, which is the result of two artists’ collaboration: Nezaket Ekici and Shahar Marcus. The project explore time, space, culture and religion. Both artists are internationally known Performance artists, using their bodies as vessels to express themselves in space and time in order to display the positive influence of cultural differences
Salt dinner video performance, shows both artists sharing a table of food on the dead sea wavy waters. Their “post-death” picnic is an ironic perspective on the symbolism of death and religion that were present in other collaborative works in the project.
Bio & Curatorial Statement
SitaaurGita is an ongoing movement based video series on sociopolitical factors of India and the subcontinent. The series attempts to illustrate the social, political & cultural fabric and investigate how deeply they are intertwined. The issues addressed, though pan-Indian in their discourse, have been showcased in an urban middle class perspective.
The piece delves into the multi-pronged issue of drug abuse in Punjab- a land besieged with social, political, geographical & emotional recuperation of the drug trafficking and increasing youth addiction
The short movement based piece attempts to capture an ordinary day for the women on Indian streets.
A short dance film on the distress caused by the recent cases of intolerance in the country.
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