Drei Schwestern, by Susanne Kennedy, 2019
"The three sisters Masja, Olga and Irina dream of leaving the Russian province for a more exciting life – “to Moscow!” Society is in upheaval, but the sisters are immobilised by the horror of their own mortality and the fear that their lives will stay the same. The future signifies great promise, although none of them knows what it will bring. Chekhov’s classic, the “Three Sisters”, has been staged since 1901 and often interpreted as symbolic of the decadence of pre-revolutionary bourgeois society. The sisters have performed many times, bearing witness to their longing to escape the present. “Is this now? – It’s a story that happened yesterday, but I know it’s tomorrow.”
Susanne Kennedy attempts to liberate the sisters and suggests a change of perspective: What if time is cyclical and we live every single moment of our lives over and over again? In Nietzsche, the idea of eternal recurrence means being constantly ready, or an absolute affirmation. Perhaps people are not in control of their own fates. Perhaps entirely different influences are involved. Nietzsche asks whether we would make other choices if we lived as if our lives were endlessly repeated – if we would be less influenced by the desire to control the future than by the desire for liberation."
The stage design is very attractive to me. It seems like the whole stage has become a digital screen and the actors are just digital figures on the screen. Seems kind of virtual to me. The stage, or the screen, is quite big, but the real performance only takes place inside the small room in the centre of the screen, to me it's like a screen inside a screen, a frame inside a frame, and I would like to try this kind of visual language for my own work.
Also, the actors are surrounded by green screen and the change of scene or environment was being done by projectors and digital images, and sometimes the images are being projected on the actors and objects. I like the idea that how reality is surrounded by digital images and figures, and the boundary is becoming burring as time passes.
Young Ho Lee, Tree Portraits
As Yossi Milo Gallery states, “By creating a partial, temporary outdoor studio for each tree, Mr. Lee’s ‘portraits’ of trees play with ideas of scale and perception while referencing traditional painting and the history of photography.”
The idea is very simple: stick a white canvas behind a tree and take a picture from a distance. I noticed the role of colour in his work. The canvas is so white that effectively let people distinguish between the subject, tree, and the environment.
joiner photography, David Hockney
Hockney on Photography
Janet Cardiff and Georges Buress Miller – Alter Bahnhof Video Walk (2012)
The Alter Bahnhof Video Walk was designed for the old train station in Kassel, Germany as part of dOCUMENTA (13). Participants are able to borrow an iPod and headphones from a check-out booth. They are then directed by Cardiff and Miller through the station. The participants watch things unfold on the small screen but feel the presence of those events deeply because of being situated in the exact location where the footage was shot. As they follow the moving images (and try to frame them as if they were the camera operator) a strange confusion of realities occurs. In this confusion, the past and present conflate and Cardiff and Miller guide us through a meditation on memory and reveal the poignant moments of being alive and present. (text from Janet Cardiff Georges Buress Miller website)
Exquisite Corps (42 choreographers, 1 dance), by Mitchell Rose
Exquisite Corps (42 choreographers, 1 dance), by Mitchell Rose
Before there was And So Say All of Us, there was Exquisite Corps. 42 contemporary choreographers chain together making one dance. One million views.
Tao Hui, Joint Images, 2016
"Television programmes from different eras, from syndicated news to soap operas and reality shows, are rolled out in different environments. They become the backdrop; And the actors stand in front of them, recreating the scenes."
"In front of the screen, the actors reproduce the scenes and lines in the screen, creating a sense of dislocation that is hard to distinguish between true and false, as well as the absurdity that the false and the real are born together. From the perspective of collective memory and group experience, he expressed his discussion on "mass media" and "performance"."
Tao Hui invited extras to performance very famous television footage in a real-life surrounding, while the actual footage is being played behind the actors. I saw this piece of artwork in Shanghai in an exhibition, which is called "Remapping Reality". This is one piece of work which I found might be the most appropriate work which response to the theme.
This work reminds me of Guy Debord's saying: "Real-world becomes real images, mere images are transformed into real beings." It's interesting to see and explore people's reaction and feeling when seeing images become real beings, such as in this case. The work blurs the boundary between television footage and reality for the audiences. Television show or film is a virtual world that comes from reality, which can remap reality. By organizing a live performance which exactly taken from the virtual world and in front of the TV, the real performance suddenly looks fake, intentional and absurd. Lots of television footages are trying to represent and remap the reality, but can they really achieve that? Or are the virtual footages already became a kind of reality for us?
Ways of Seeing, John Berger
Ways of seeing, John Berger
-the image of the painting work is the thing that's travelling now, images come to you, not you come to the image
-the detail after the camera zooming in changes the meaning of the object, detail changes the overall effect
-music and speed change the meaning of images
-the meaning of an image can be changed by the other images around it
-the switch between channels
Ep 2: -nude: realise that oneself is being seen
-they are naked as you see them
Ep 3: -value
-paintings often show tressures, but painting has become tressures itself
-Does the special ownership relationship between image and the owner have a special sense of superiority?
-oil painting was, a media to celebrate one's personal property, in some ways, advertising has replaced its statue
Ep 4: -we are surrounded by images, offer an alternative way of life
-advertising convince us to change, play with our fear
-an imaginary illusion
-an image is public, a dream is private
-the conflicts between advertisings
-oil painting is surrounded by the property, advertising is surrounded by us
Urs Fischer (Installation View). The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
FRANÇOIS / RENÉ, 2013, Silkscreen print on mirror-glass, UV-adhesive, aluminium, glass, polyacetal, screw
This artwork is questioning the boundary or difference between 2D and 3D, which is a very interesting topic to me. For example, in this camera piece, the pictures on each side remind me of the product pictures on the camera selling website, so these pictures are more like from a digital world. By printing them out and making a cuboid, the product exists in the real physical world, but to the end, it's not the real thing. I think the artist is playing with the idea that how the digital world or digital images are tricking our mind and eyes. It shows a kind of transformation, which real objects become real images, and then images transformed into real beings.
Zoe Leonards, strange Fruit (for David)
Strange Fruits (for David)
This is a piece of installation work completed by Zoe Leonards in 1997, which was made in memory of David Wojnarowicz. In the book, The Lonely City, the writer kind of seen string and stitches as a kind of connection. By connecting objects with objects or with people themself with string, it's actually a way to seek for touching and connecting for David Wojnarowicz, who experiences bad loneliness since his childhood.
In Zoe's piece, pieces of fruits were being sewed, stitched or zipped back together into a whole piece. I see a sense of connecting and relating from these strange fruits, but also a sense of incapability and powerlessness because the reconnecting wouldn't prevent them from drying, decaying, becoming dust and turning to nothing. I think it's a very sad piece of work.
David Wojnarowicz, image from A Fire in My Belly, 1989
Live-Cam-Performance (special during lockdown)
Adam Chodzko, Site-Specific
Better Scenery is an artwork made up of four components, two photographs and two site-specific sculptures. It was commissioned by Camden Arts Centre, London. The sculptures are large signs, one located in North London, the other in the Painted Desert, Arizona. The photographs, each depicting one of the signs in situ, are displayed as a diptych. In the photograph on the left, the sign is set within the O2 shopping and leisure centre’s busy car park off London’s Finchley Road. The photograph depicts a dark, built-up environment beneath an overcast sky. A few trees, shopping trolleys and lampposts are scattered among the many cars in the foreground. In the background, the blur of a moving underground train is visible in front of a large Victorian red-brick building. In the photograph on the right, the sign stands out against a vast blue sky in a landscape of grasses and yellow-flowered brush receding to a flat horizon echoed by a line of mountains behind. A dark sandy hill rises at the left edge of the image. Each sign is a large black rectangle with yellow text that gives detailed road directions in simple language. Both signs are fixed in the ground by two timbers with a wind chime fixed to the top of the left strut. The sign in North London gives directions from Flagstaff, Arizona, to the specific location of the sign in the desert which, in turn, gives directions from Central London to the location of the sign at the O2 car park. The final sentence of both signs is ‘Situated here, in this place, is a sign which describes the location of this sign you have just finished reading.’
The Lonely City: Adventures in the art of being alone. By Olivia Laing
-“One dollar bill is not more attractive than another; drinking coke puts the coal miner among the company of presidents and movie stars."
-"To make the private into something public is an act that has terrific repercussions on the pre-invented world." David Wojnarowicz.
-"Barriers and boundaries, wanted things at a distance and unwanted things too close: an erotic of insufficient intimacy, which is, of course, a synonym for loneliness itself."
-"Its walls like windows, its windows like walls."
-"He preferred to relate to them one-to-one. Everyone knew a slightly different David."
-"Ours is the culture of sexualised little girls and armed men. Darger simply thought to put them together, to let them freely interact."
In this book, the writer talks about her lonely experience when moving to New York and the artists who had the same lonely feeling, such as Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz and Henry Darger. Each of them has different reasons for their loneliness.
The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord.
Cubed, by Mitchell Rose
CUBED, by Mitchell Rose
A cubist reimagining of the body explores metaphors for human boundaries and separation.
Li Ming, Sports (series: no series), 8-channel digital video recording, 2014
"What we see in the exhibition hall is an artist surrounded by his own image, running on a time axis that seems to extend infinitely but stays at the moment all the time. His pursuit is both simultaneous and time-delayed. If at the very beginning of the production of video art, there were such characteristics as narcissism, mirroring, instantaneity (the relationship between subject and object is cancelled, space is compressed, time is cut off) and reflection and criticism on these characteristics, then in "movement", these problems resurface. So we also see that in the last shot, the artist is simply running, even though there is no real object ahead that he needs to chase."
This is another piece of video work which I saw in "Remapping Reality" exhibition in Shanghai. It's an 8-channel video which recorded the artist, Li Ming, carrying a black suitcase, moving or transporting from one street to another by jumping onto the trunk, holding and following the back of the car or sliding on his suitcase, which none of them can be considered as normal transportations.
There is no starting point and no ending point, and there are eight channels being placed in a row and playing at the same time. Li Ming was moving from right to left in all the eight screens, so there are eight images of him sporting between these channels. Sometimes it looks like Li Ming is moving from one screen from another very smooth, but sometimes the videos are overlapping and repeating, which gives me a sense of dislocation when watching he moving. The sense of chasing is not only limited between himself and the vehicles but also between the image of him in one screen and the image of him in the next screen. In reality, he's chasing his vehicles, in the screen, the image of him is chasing the next image. So the parallel movement does not only exist between himself and the camera but also exists between the audiences and the image of him. It's hard to tell whether Li Ming is just moving in the real street, or is he moving in the space of these channels, the virtual world, at the same time. I think that's the question that left for each audience to decide.
Visual Fine Art: Documenting change, influencing change, and subjected to change. by John Reid.
Noam Ben Jacov, Body Sculptures
"I have been developing this ‘body related work’ (body-sculptures) for more than 33 years.
In general, most of my work is being created in respond to a substantive… personal event, (birth of child or any other very significant event) and the way I am “passing through it”.
My focus is on creating the work and emphasizing the mental, physical movement; the human body becomes the ‘motor’, constructing and building the objects around it.
Participant and viewer are brought together: on one hand the centre of the unit, however, on the other hand, also the viewer, watching the ‘things’ happening around. I pay much attention to the overall contact between sculpture/object & human body, holding in mind the space surrounding it all. The sound the ‘work’ makes, the restrictions it imposes are all incorporated into the holistic experience of the sculpture. I value very much a strong personal mode of self-expression and describes the associative nature of my work as allowing the work ‘talk – to scream – preferably to sing’."
This piece of work looks very playful to me like an adult is playing with a very big toy. The lines and shape created by metal are very beautiful in a geometric way. The metal and the straight lines created are very hard, but the composition and movement look very soft and fixable, I can feel the contrast between hard sculpture and soft movement.
Also, by wearing this sculpture, the artist expanded his personal space which is quite interesting and reminds me of self-protection and unspoken language of body space.
Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?, by Hito Steyerl.
Exhibition Visit: Cerith Wyn Evans, No realm of thought... No field of vision
F=O=U=N=T=A=I=N, 2020, White neon, 382×1084cm.
fid. (0), 2020, White neon, 730×707×519cm.