7th August – 2nd September 2006
UK art today
Electric Earth: Film and Video from Britain
Artists by : Adam Chodzko, Volker Eichelmann & Roland Rust, Folk Archive, Luke Fowler, Rob Kennedy, Torsten Lauschmann, Mark Leckey, Hilary Lloyd, Oliver Payne & Nick Relph, Paul Rooney, Stephen Sutcliffe, Szuper Gallery, Wolfgang Tillmans, Mark Titchner and Carey Young.
This exhibition of video-based works examines alternative ways of living and systems of belief. The artists included in the exhibition adopt a leftfield position in relation to pre-determined social structures and in doing so, attempt to give voice to the dispossessed elements of society. Often acting as a ‘director’ or ‘facilitator’ for people asked to participate in their practice, these artists seek to appropriate and subvert the basis of power within their chosen subject matter through simple interventions and documentation. In this way, the artists in Electric Earth look to expand our understanding of social systems and codes, re-positioning the viewer’s expectations.
A sequel to the popular Black-Box Recorder video exhibition, as a subtext Electric Earth also seeks to create debate concerning the narrative and appropriated mainstream broadcast developments in recent video art. Partly aided by wider availability of sophisticated editing programmes for home computers, and partly through the conflux of pop promos, documentaries, mainstream cinema and art film genres, artists working in video today are taking their practice out of the gallery and integrating it into social structures and advertising.
The exhibition is presented on three large ‘cinema’ style screens with surround-sound, enabling a journey through the social landscapes of corporate commerce, fashion, youth and club culture, religion, employment and the interconnected information flow of the 21st century city.
Artist by: Doglas Gordon
10ms-1 is a video projection on a large free-standing screen. The video footage is a fragment of a medical film from the First World War documenting the attempts of a psychologically injured man to stand up and walk. In the opening shots he is seen standing behind a screen, then gradually falling to the ground. He is wearing only his underwear and appears, physically, quite healthy and able, his body muscular and apparently fit. In a series of moves which articulate his back, neck and torso he repeatedly attempts to raise himself from the ground, but never succeeds. His healthy physical appearance renders his inability to accomplish the simple task of standing on his feet all the more shocking. Gordon slowed down the film footage and spliced it into an endless loop, locking the injured man into a constant replay of his private struggle with his body.
In the early to mid 1990s Gordon produced a series of works involving projections of pre-existing film footage, which he manipulated and projected onto large free-standing screens. In the most famous of these he slowed down Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho to a duration of twenty-four hours, calling the piece 24 Hour Psycho (1993). He made several works using material from medical films recording psychological malfunction. Hysterical (1994-5) is a fragment of a medical demonstration film of 1908 enacting techniques for the treatment of female hysteria. The footage of 10ms-1, which documents real symptoms of war trauma (known at the time as ’shell shock’), records the physical manifestations of what later came to be understood as male hysteria.
Gordon’s work investigates the mechanics of perception, both psychological and visual. Many of his pieces made using film break the medium down, through slow motion and projection onto large free-standing screens (sometimes more than one at a time), in order to draw the viewer’s attention to hitherto unseen details. These techniques challenge the construction of meaning through memory as well as the viewer’s relationship, both physical and psychological, with the moving image. He has said that he is ‘interested in those areas where perception breaks down or the fact that we don’t actually know how it works or why it malfunctions’. By breaking films down through slow motion he aims to reveal those ‘aspects of our experience we carry around and are unaware of how they might be shaping our perception’ (quoted in Kidnapping, p.34).
In 10ms-1 the unknown man’s repeated exertions enact the fate of Sysyphus, the mythical Greek king who was condemned eternally to push a heavy boulder up a steep hill, only to be powerless to stop it rolling back down again once he had reached the top. It seems to express a will for life pitted against odds which are at once inhuman (the machinery and destruction of war) and deep within the individual himself (his psychological damage). Veering between comic and tragic, it ‘focuses on the microcosm of a simple human action … and reads as a vulnerable yet recuperating social body trying, with small movements and tentative actions, to get back on its feet’
Douglas Gordon is one of the most important artists of his generation. Winner of the prestigious and controversial Turner Prize in 1996, Gordon works in diverse media, including photography, sculpture and writing, among others. However, he’s primarily known for his unique method of treating the images in his installations.
Gordon was born in Glasgow. He studied at Glasgow School of Art, 1984 - 1988 and the Slade School of Art, University of London, 1988 - 1990. He has won numerous awards including the Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery, London in 1996, the Central Kunstpreis, Kunstverein Cologne, 1997, the Premio 2000 at the XLVII Venice Biennale in 1997, and the Hugo Boss Prize at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 1998. He participated in the DAAD Artist’s Programme, Hannover and Berlin, 1997 - 1998
New Media: Definition and Boundary
Speaker: Ajarn Peerachai Kertsin (Bangkok University)
The exhibition: The Last Supper is a suite of 13 screen prints by Damien Hirst
From June 2006, 3 UK artists Andrew Stahl, Eric Bainbridge and Nathaniel Rackowe will work alongside 3 Thai artists Sansern Milindasuta, Nipan Oranniwesna, Sathit Satavasart over a six-week period. From painting and sculpture to mixed media and installation, new works of art will be created especially for Monologue/Dialogue and exhibited at the new Bangkok University Gallery space.