Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The Lost Moment in Press

Tara McDowell, www.artforum.com, June Picks

http://www.artforum.com/picks/section=de#picks15505


"The Lost Moment"

SOCIETY FOR ARTISTIC RESEARCH BERLIN
Am Flutgraben 3
June 1–July 7


The lost moments to which this provocative and timely group exhibition (curated by Fatos Ustek) refers are those political or social actions that are, either immediately or over time, naturalized, forgotten, or whisked away. Bankleer, an artist duo, reminds us, for example, that the first zombie films emerged in the 1920s as a response to the fear and exoticization of the Caribbean. In their surreally pop video REALE RESTE, 2006, youngish urbanites, transformed into zombies, loll about an indoor, artificial tropical setting, carefully watched by riot-gear-clad security enforcers. Such confrontations between the individual and the state appear elsewhere, as in a drawing from Ahmet Ögut’s pop-up book in which a prostrate man is handcuffed by two policemen on the street, and can’t help but recall the concurrent G8 summit in Heiligendamm and attendant protests soon to be supplanted by tomorrow’s news. Some lost moments excavated by these artists are historical, such as Dani Gal’s re-enactment of Israel’s first television broadcast in 1966, a remarkable piece of national self-fashioning that the artist reconstructed from firsthand accounts, as the original broadcast is not to be found in Israeli television archives. More contemporary are Florian Wüst’s simple line drawings and animations derived from recent media images. In Creative Sentencing, 2007, a figure dons a sandwich board reading I AM A THIEF I STOLE FROM WALMART, referring to last month’s incident in which convicted shoplifters were obligated to wear the twenty-first-century version of a scarlet letter in front of an Alabama Wal-Mart store. A healthy dose of the absurd or fantastic is often mixed in: Annika Lundgren’s video projection seamlessly, and disarmingly, tells a tale of an illusionist performing before an audience over visuals of what appears to be a politician at a press conference. Bashir Borakov and Zbigniew Libera also embrace aspects of the absurd, theatrical, or cinematic, and Kirstine Roepstorff’s impactful large-scale collage, Study of Anthropology and Humankind, 2007, demonstrates how easily the detail or fragment can be made to disappear in a sea of visual information.


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Mathias Reichelt, Zitty, 20 June - 4 July, 2007

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