Video Turn Exhibition: Closing Discussion

Vžigalica Gallery, Ljubljana, 28 November, 2012

The discussion at the end of the Video Turn exhibition project attracted a great number of people. Besides the numerous participants, the curiosity brought in also some representatives of the so-called interested public – as mentioned by one of them. The collaborators on this project varied in background and occupation. This was after all a very important part of the experimental practice, which we tried to explore and materialise in the course of a bit more than two weeks at the Vžigalica Gallery. The process of developing the installations was accompanied with quite a few obstacles and traps, dilemmas and presupposed expectations, and also some disappointments and small incidents.

Neven Korda spoke about his experience with the series of five events-performances in the framework of the workshop situation and about his changing installation entitled Dominant Black. In this repeated and evolving performative atmosphere that has built a tight relationship with the audience we were able to recognise and understand Korda’s experimental video practice – as it was also elaborated by one of the participants of the workshop on writing about this exhibition. These live events were also valuable opportunities for questions, discussions, and opinion making.

Sergej Kapus made an important contribution to the project by Miha Vipotnik, as an expert and author of several research books on the oeuvre of Jožef Petkovšek, and fervent interpreter of his painting entitled Home, which served as the base or a starting point for this project. Kapus greatly contributed also as an important communicator as a professor at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts whose students played the key role in building the setting for this installation. He actually opened the gateway for his students to step into an unknown situation of an open and creative workshop. Kapus stressed the importance of such experience for everyone involved, while students themselves commented how important they found the slowly building relationship and understanding with Vipotnik, and upgrading their understanding and engagement with the process that also brought them joy and pleasure.

During the discussion we made a short break in order to open the curtains and invite the public to step into the Home installation to view the final outcome of the recorded sequence. A number of participants and actors who contributed to the making of this artwork were present at the gallery. Amongst them the most busy with the final touches were the cameraman Daniel Alberto Rodrigues Correia and assistant director Lucia Smodiš. Vipotnik was absent – just as at the beginning of the workshop. At that very moment he was somewhere on the plane between Istanbul and Beirut. Conceptually his absence had some relation to the reasons behind the topic of the installation “home” which is sometimes a very unstable and uncanny place. We sent him photos and videos that were constantly being documented by photographer Jasna Jernejšek and video editor Toni Poljanec – also published on these blog.

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Neven Korda: Dominant Black, installation

For the installation, Neven Korda re-used video materials that coincidentally appeared as reflections and glitches in his latest installation Simply Beautiful at the same gallery in the context of Lighting Guerrilla Festival in spring 2012. From the video feedback loops that he created then, he took only those serendipitous elements that have been brought to life without the artist’s conscious planning. The installation was fully illuminated only when using a stronger video projector. For this rather small space the 5000 luma projector was sufficient.

For Dominant Black installation Korda also tested the beta version of an open source software tool for video mapping Mapper, developed by Boštjan Cadež. Korda previously collaborated with him on several other projects, which included architectural and contextual video mapping, such as Parallel Worlds Series on Square Without Historical Memory at Metelkova or The Power of Desire at Novi trg in Ljubljana. This time, he adopted video mapping by masking the reflection of the three black rectangular pictures and one black arch on a reflective hemisphere in the middle of the space. The black surfaces were covering all the major areas of the room. In this way he made an illusion of dominant black pictures that eradicated the light, while the margins were illuminated in the never ending loop of contemplative light textures.

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The final week of Video Turn Exhibition

From a starting situation at Vžigalica Gallery on 13 November, 2012, the space was gradually upgraded and disintegrated in the rooms for construction, performances and interaction. In the last week of the exhibition, the installations were presented in their representative form.

After five intensive performances, Neven Korda presented the Dominant Black installation in the new illumination of 5000 luma projector. The workshop situation gave way to projection art that was no more veiled by the translucent projecting curtain, and it became possible to walk into the dominant black space. “It was simply beautiful!” This beauty could be viewed as one of those milestones that keep specifics of the field of artistic practices.

 

Home was constructed, filmed and installed into the space by a wide group of co-workers, actors and performers. “Jožef’s” postage stamp from 1967 has entered the real time and space, and the view of passers-by was simultaneously opening and focusing through the window lenses and gaps revealing the scene in the process of the making. The constructed sequence was like a puzzle. The images were looking at us. Premiere screening of the sequence took place on Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 at 5pm, followed by a discussion about the exhibition project and expressing very practical experiences of all the people involved in the process. On Thursday, 29 November, 2012 from 10am till 6pm installations Home and Dominant Black may be viewed in their representative form. Exhibition program and the process may also be followed at SCCA Facebook Profile

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Exhibition Opening

The initial situation at the gallery by Miha Vipotnik was set up only with a small teaser for the installation and filming situation Home that is yet to be gradually built in cooperation with students from Academy of Fine Arts and Design Ljubljana. The starting point was a tiny illuminated postal stamp viewable only from the stairs installed outside the gallery to enable peeking through a 20x25cm lens carved into a black surface of the glass. The postal stamp was published in a collection of 5 significant paintings from the 19th Century by Yugoslav Post Office in 1967. The original drawing was copyrighted by National Gallery Ljubljana who keeps the painting by Jožef Petkovšek Home in its collection and permanent exhibition. Prior to the exhibition opening on 26th October Sergej Kapus held a lecture about the feeling of “unheimlich” in the painting at the National Gallery. This unsettling mode is going to be one of the themes to be developed in the exhibition process.

Neven Korda at the other side of the gallery space constructed a situation for his work Dominant black. He had sought references in his previous video installations in the same gallery space at the Light Guerrilla exhibition and entitled Simply Beautiful. This time, he had taken only those coincidental reflections from the previous installation that had appeared at a time to be less significant. To enhance something that only constructs the background, the random output of the predominant image is a social decision – to give way to the less visible. In his introduction to the installation and the coming performances – about to be enacted in the course of the exhibition – he has declared a new paradigm to his work: 99% PURE VIDEO. So far, he had theorized on the meaning of the paradigm 100% PURE VIDEO taking into consideration all the possibilities of video as a medium encompassing the technical usage, social implications and aesthetic desire. With the new paradigm he tends to avoid the 100% PURE VIDEO to become a genre, as he is a critic of the usage of the term experimental as a style or genre of artistic endeavours. Furthermore in the correspondence to this, he also comments on the usage of 99% as a commodity term to represent the masses much like it is used in the advertisements. Neven Korda also announced his 5 performances where he is going to enact the newly set paradigm.

 

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