Archive for May, 2010

Clement GREENBERG, “Modernist Painting”, 1960

“THE ESSENCE OF MODERNISM LIES, AS I SEE IT, IN THE USE OF CHARACTERISTIC METHODS OF A DISCIPLINE TO CRITICIZE THE DISCIPLINE ITSELF, NOT IN ORDER TO SUBVERT IT BUT IN ORDER TO ENTRENCH IT MORE FIRMLY IN ITS AERA OF COMPETENCE.”

As video entered the world of art in the 1960s, artists and critics were mostly concerned with the modernist principle as enunciated and imposed by American art critic and historian Clement Greenberg, for or against which they all had to define themselves. This principle was the one of the medium specificity which, according to Clement Greenberg, was thecondition for ‘high art’, as opposed to ‘low art’ (popular culture). In other words, to achieve ‘high art’, one had to define the properties that were inherent to the medium in use. Therefore, for ‘video art’ to become ‘high art’, video artists would have to explore the very possibilities offered by the technology of video and electronic, so as to delimitits specific aera of competence, and in doing so, differenciate it from cinema.

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douglas gordon’s work

Looking for inspiration and references on video art, and video installation works, I found out about the Scottish artist Douglas Gordon (Glasgow, 1966).

Gordon is responsible for some of the most interesting artistic creations of the last years, covering fields such as cinematography, the audiovisual installations or even the literature, making him one of those artists who seem to refuse to be sorted in a certain style or tendency.

24-Hour Psycho (1993) is one of the most celebrated works by Gordon, and can be a perfect start point to his entire opera . A screen, placed diagonally in the middle of a quite dark hall, projects the famous film Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock, with the particularity that the emission, which lacks sound, is slowed down to the point of being increased its duration to 24 hours. Also, this screen is translucent and the film is projected on both sides of it, so when a spectator approaches to the screen is seen by the spectators placed on the other side, causing a strange interference in a so familiar film.

Much more ambitious, to the point of being hardly affordable for the spectator, is the work with the descriptive title of Pretty much every Film and Video work from about 1992 until now (1992-?). It consists in a large group of monitors showing, as the title warns, the entire cinematographic work by Gordon in the last 14 years. The monitors, some of them accompanied with headphones, are placed in different positions in every exhibition. I was very interested in this project, once I only saw his work after my exhibition, and I felt that my work os very much connected with his.

exhibtion pics

I would like to THANK every single person that came to my private view on friday 14th of may and made the night incredible.

I’ve got a great feedback from everyone and was incredible the way people reacted to my work and have tried to relate the video installation to their own life and memories.

here are some pictures from the night. I’ll post a video soon.

setting up

setting up the exhibition without a budget was a mission. After picking up all the TV’s with a tiny trolley by foot (and buses) in my house last week I was organizing how the TV’s would look like at the gallery.

projection….

library of babel

here is another installation that I’ve created. It was done last year, but only the model has been realized.

It is based on a short-story by Jorge Luis Borges, “the library of babel”

The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors. The distribution of the galleries is invariable. Twenty shelves, five long shelves per side, cover all the sides except two; their height, which is the distance from floor to ceiling, scarcely exceeds that of a normal bookcase. One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, identical to the first and to all the rest. To the left and right of the hallway there are two very small closets. In the first, one may sleep standing up; in the other, satisfy one’s fecal necessities. Also through here passes a spiral stairway, which sinks abysmally and soars upwards to remote distances. In the hallway there is a mirror which faithfully duplicates all appearances. Men usually infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite (if it were, why this illusory duplication?); I prefer to dream that its polished surfaces represent and promise the infinite … Light is provided by some spherical fruit which bear the name of lamps. There are two, transversally placed, in each hexagon. The light they emit is insufficient, incessant.

getting ready…

the exhibition is getting closer and I am working a lot to put the pieces together…. editing the videos, exporting, burning DVD’s, testing high quality films on new TV’s….. it has been very interesting to experiment the idea, and to be able to adapt it….

Here are some frames of one of the videos that will be at the installation. This video is the one shot with the macro lens I hired for one weekend which allowed me great shots, exactly what I have in mind.

In another TV’s I will have the same action but from a completely different angle, an open shot of the space where I was performing.

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