Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Virginia Woolf & her images

Below you may watch my efforts for defining technology and space. I took these pictures because I wanted to see how it looked from outside when I was inside. Slowly slowly and by many trial and error photos, I have some ideas on how I would like the space to look like. Take a tour...

Picture 1: That' s one of my first try outs. On the right projector I have an Isadora edited "almost" live version of a video shooting me. On the other one is live shooting of Playmobils. Isadora came because when Eleni saw it, she told me that it is important for the audience to see the frame of the photo that Virginia Woolf suggests. And then I thought that I could just have a camera projecting the image with a beamer. But I also wanted to have a delay. Isadora provides for a delay. The delay is because there is something going on with memory and time.

Picture 2: That's the view from down there, I wanted to make a close up on the screen and at the same time trying another posture. It might look beautiful but from the audience perspective it's bonkers. How can a dead person leave his foot up there???

Picture 3: I liked this one but I thought I should take off my clothes, because the posture is not the best for showing the element of a "mutilated" body of unknown sex. Besides the playmobil don't have a nice posture that would recommend dead children on the ground. If you take a good look on them they are on the wall.

Picture 4: Playmobils changed place. Still I dislike the fact that the two images are so much overlaping. It's too obvious.

Picture 5: That's the view from the other side. The audience.

Picture 6: I managed to make the two beamers not to overlap and to be a continuous one image. I had to stabilize them better and put a small piece of paper in front of the light to feather the edges. Now I am happier. I also had to change place in the space coz I didnt want to be hidden behind the table. I obviously need to take off my cheesy socks and do it in the evening when no sunlight comes in.

Picture 7: That's something else. These are some tags that slowly slowly during the course of the lecture I will be sticking on the wall. Every picture will have a tag. Where do I put them? Well I have a laser clock that is scanning the wall during one hour. Every time I mention a picture I show the picture and then I put a tag on the wall.

Picture 8: Why tags??? Well first of all these tags are like price-tags. In the exhibition Here is New York, featuring photos from amateur and professional photographers with the topic of 9/11, the picture where one next to the other and they had prices. One could buy them at the end of his tour but he wouldn't know if he had bought a Perress or a Nautwchey.

Picture 9: Here you can see the laser invention that is pointing to the wall. The most important reason for me though is the fact that photographic artillery is the same as war artillery. Lasers are used to spot the enemy and shoot him. Tags are being put there where the laser has shot. Tags are a memorial of those who died. Have you ever seen these big memorial statues with names on them ? But even more important, I consider the laser pointer as a way to mark the time of the performance. As a way to make a document out of the performance itself... Does it make sense?
Auslander (2006) in the PAJ on an article called the "Performativity of Performance Documentation"says the following:
"I am suggesting that performance documents are not analogous to constatives, but to performatives: in other words, the act of documenting an event as a performance is what constitutes it as such. Documentation does not simply generate image/statements that describe an autonomous performance and state that it occurred: it produces an event as a performance and, as Frazer Ward suggests, the performer as 'artist.”'"(84)
And Auslander goes on further concluding:
"crucial relationship is not the one between the document and the performance but the one between the document and its audience. Perhaps the authenticity of the performance document resides in its relationship to its beholder rather than to an ostensibly originary event: perhaps its authority is phenomenological rather than ontological"
In that sense Auslander's explanation of the authenticity of the document links very well to Susan Sontag's ideas about "what reality is". So, by creating a document out of this performance, the document becomes a performative and not a constative element. A performative element of Sontag's book on the reality of photos, of documents.

What this installation?

If you go to Tate Modern in London, on Floor 3, Room 8 you can see an installation by Paul McCarthy that I found really inspiring. Unfortunately I couldn't take any pictures of it nor do they have on their websites. But here is the description that the museum gives.

Projection Room (1971 – 2006) is an installation combining seventeen of McCarthy’s early videos produced between 1972 and 1978, as well as 170 slides documenting performances from the same period. The selection is highly personal: most of the videos were made in the intimate settings of McCarthy’s homes and studios in Pasadena and Los Angeles. The participants are generally close friends, including Karen McCarthy, his wife of 40 years, and the artist Allan Kaprow.

McCarthy’s practice has often involved scrambling the chronology of his own work. He repeats and recycles themes, and transfers certain works into other media to emphasise his view that art and history are in a perpetual state of transformation. Although most of these videos would originally have been presented autonomously on monitors, here McCarthy collages and overlaps them in an immersive installation that maximises their physical and spatial effect on the viewer.

Paul McCarthy was born in 1945 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He lives and works in Los Angeles

Curated by Stuart Comer

More than that, I think the whole intallation is a way of making a live document

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