Archive for October, 2011

>>> Instinctive Interpretations: An Interview with Alicia Frankovich on 29/09/2011

Alicia Frankovich, ‘Volution’, 2011, Courtesy of the Artist

LILIANA RODRIGUES: Your 2011 film ‘Volution’ is loosely inspired by a scene from Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City of Lights’ (1931), while ‘Genet Piece’ (2010) freely re-enacts a scene from ‘Un Chant d’Amour’ by Jean Genet (1950). Why this interest in the re-enactment of choreographies taken from historical film footage?

ALICIA FRANKOVICH: In a way by coming so close to other works you can actually divert further from them than if you were not to look to them at all. There is a sense of a skeleton that you can build on and divert into a new language. You can kind of insert yourself into an old text and do something to it and come out of it, pushing it somewhere else. I also like the idea of making a kind of (feminist) modern day interpretation from works of the past. How do actions/ gestures from 1930 or 1950 read today? What if the actions are misused or if they are such a brittle vein in the final piece… The earlier works allow for layers of texts/ readings from the original text to the new one. There is also a politics in the way that you see the piece in terms of media, from Chaplin’s blackand white films (which I have seen on TV and on Youtube) through todays technology. Really I think that you are initially interested in a specific concept or a specific history and then it becomes entirely new … it adds context.

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October 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

A Funny Turbulence. An Interview with Assaf Gruber on 28/09/2011

Assaf Gruber, 'Joseph', 2011, Courtesy of the Artist

LILIANA RODRIGUES: Adam Budak has already referenced how your artistic practice “deploys and simultaneously deconstructs a variety of formal languages”, and how “it is gestural as it is performative”. Your most recent installation, titled ‘A Great Big Joke’ (2011), is no exception. It joins a two-dimensional historical painting, moving image, and sculptural elements with a performative aspect to them. Why do you feel the necessity of working a multiplicity of vocabularies within the same piece?

ASSAF GRUBER: Because comedy happens in threes.
A Great Big Joke‘ is consists of three elements: a highly pixelized cellular phone photograph of a painting by the French Caravaggisti Nicolas Tournier. It belongs to the ‘club’ of iconic crucifixion images, but it is not one that we can easily identify. The second is a short looped extract from the film ‘The Swimmer’ (Frank Perry, 1968). The loop shows a man climbing up a mountain, an image associated with the cinematic representation of the myth of Sisyphus, which recurs throughout many films. The last is the different sculptural elements made from photosensitive paper and steel, which I call ‘Isomorphs’ due to their ‘repetitive energy’.
This ensemble of familiar/non-familiar imageries and forms attempts to achieve a peculiar déjà vu experience where the viewer is being held somewhere in between awkwardness and ‘terrible beauty’.

LR: You used the expression “crime scene” in reference to ‘Great Big Joke’. Can you explain?

AG: Maybe because there is something transgressive in it, which leads to a feeling that something bad is about to happen or already did. But then, the overcharged use of imageries neutralizes the drama and the whole remains a great big joke.

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October 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment


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