I am reading this book:
Last year I saw William Kentridge’s Thick Time exhibition at Louisiana.
The exhibition had a big impact on me; his thoughts, methods and his playfullness.
Since then I have listened to several of his lectures.
I want to at least make a short note-blog-post about Bruce Nauman. I saw some of his video installations at an exhibition last year at Copenhagen Contemporary.
Last year I read the book “On being an artist” of Miceal Craig Martin and during my project, he has inspired me deeply. Initially, it was Johnathan who mentioned him to me. We talked about his method of collecting his own drawings and using them for different artworks.
I read his book, it has a short clear and strong introduction to his art, art history and his experiences teaching in art. I love reading the book.
This sentence, among others, had been in my mind:
Don’t try to be too inventive. The more your art reflects you, the more it will speak to other people. If you are not sure what you should do, just do whatever comes into your head or catches your imagination. Gradually, it will lead you to where you should be. Making art is a path not a destination.
Gillian Wearing OBE RA (born 1963) is an English conceptual artist, one of the Young British Artists.
One of the effects Gillian Wearing’s video “2 in 1” has on me is the insight in the power of the voice; the pronunciation and the tone of voice. By letting the two generation lipsyncing the dubbed words of each other, the words get another meaning and my focus change not only to what they are saying but also to how they are doing it, their approach. It reveals a kind of secret at the same time it is on the edge of fun.
I like her work in general, not to try to be nice but ask questions about our lives. She uses herself, her family, ordinary people and her surrounding as material.
In the exhibition Family Stories, GW recreates herself at different ages by using masks. In Self-portrait 3 years old, a little girl looks at the viewer. She looks a little creepy. But there is also something else wrong. It’s an adult’s eye who looks at us through a baby mask. Gillian Wearing’s portrait of the girl is a portrait of herself as both children and adults.
My brief research shows that William S. Burroughs is a key figure when it comes to working with cut-up poem.
His sentence “when you cut into the present the future leaks out” takes my attention. I’ll have some similar experiences while I worked with my listed words.
My experiences were that words in a random constellation evoke unknown/forgot memories, in some cases like a coded personal information – information which is already there, but not yet exposed.
Together with cinemaphotography Antony Balch, William S. Burroughs made the video below. In this one, they are experimenting with voice replacement.
Another interesting video made by Antony Balch, Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs is “The Cut-Ups” from 1966. The repeating sentence with slightly different pronunciation makes a rhythm through the sequence. It is not only the words but also the film clips which are edited together in a nonsense sequence. As the words, the shots creates a rhythm. The idea of montage is in this example is pushed to the extreme. The story moves forward and backwards without a real narrative, it leaves a mood and an impression of playful systematic chaos. I got the feeling that there are stories everywhere it is just a matter of attention.
The cuts are a mix of footage from various film projects.
Bjørn Melhus, born 1966, is a German-Norwegian media artist. In his work he has developed a singular position, expanding the possibilities for a critical reception of cinema and television. His practice of fragmentation, destruction, and reconstitution of well-known figures, topics, and strategies of the mass media opens up not only a network of new interpretations and critical commentaries, but also defines the relationship of mass media and viewer anew.
BM is using voice replacement in many of his video installations. Again and Again was the first one which crossed my way in my research of artists who works with video and voices.
Voice, beat, repeated characters and editing has a funny approach but after a while, it’s like getting hypnotized and it’s becoming more serious and a little scary.
Again and Again
Taking on themes of human cloning and biological science, Again & Again uses repetitive symbolism and video effects to question the relationship of self-design and aesthetic responsibility as well as the development of biological technologies and plastic surgery alongside a popular consumer culture.
In the two next examples, BM works with multiple screens / split-screen. The repetition, the rhythm and the editing are interesting for me to observe according to my work. I understand that repeating and an underlying beat have a good effect on focusing the attention.
Deadly Storm 333
The installation is composed of three sets of three vertical flat screen monitors installed onto 3 walls, each set depicts the same androgynous figure seemingly reporting on breaking, real time events. Each news anchor speaks in a selection of terms and sound bites, accompanied by graphics and visual tropes that have become synonymous with contemporary new broadcasts. Tension and paranoia are constructed through the tonality of speech and accompanying sound effects, as each anchor reports on an “ongoing situation”, which is never defined.
The Theory of Freedom
The installation is composed of three sets of three vertical flat-screen monitors installed onto 3 walls, each set depicts the same androgynous figure seemingly reporting on breaking, real time events. Each news anchor speaks in a selection of terms and sound bites, accompanied by graphics and visual tropes that have become synonymous with contemporary new broadcasts. Tension and paranoia are constructed through the tonality of speech and accompanying sound effects, as each anchor reports on an “on going situation”, which is never defined.