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Jan Adriaans [Videonale.12] x

Metamorphic Rock, 2008, 4:30 min., sound, colour [Videonale.12]

What is a metamorphic rock? The transformation of the mineralogical composition of a rock through a change in temperature and pressure is called metamorphism. The parent material is turned into a so-called metamorphic rock. Metamorphic Rock shows the walls of a lobby in an office building. The shots rotate left and right on a split screen, turning 360 degrees in opposite directions. The white, grained marble of the wall surfaces alternates with the matte reflection of a white leather chair on the floor. The different perspectives as well as the surface structures of the walls and objects that have been set in motion create a striking image: they show the materiality with its bizarre forms in practically human poses. As the only person in the video, the doorman meanders around in the entryway of these decadent surroundings, whiling away the time. He seems to melt into the interior décor, becoming one of the furnishings. In his video, Jan Adriaans does not pinpoint a particular place, but allows the camera, with a view to the materiality of one generic building, to circle symbolically around the whole world. In the process, the rotating halves of the images do not simply document the walls, but instead animate the rock in a media metamorphosis.

Maike Volkhard


Andrew Cooke [Videonale.12] x

Under Working Conditions, 2006, 2:25, Farbe, Ton [Videonale.12]

Andrew Cooke präsentiert sich in seinem Video Performance under Working Conditions als menschlicher Staubsauger. Dazu kriecht er auf Händen und Knien, die Stirn nicht vom Boden hebend, über einen Teppich. Er ahmt mit seiner Stimme das Geräusch des Staubsaugers nach. Sowohl die Ausstattung des Zimmers als auch die Kleidung des Künstlers weisen dabei auf ärmliche Verhältnisse hin. Die Szene könnte zunächst humoristisch wirken. Doch wird das komische Moment durch die Perspektive der Kamera vereitelt. Die statische, auf dem Boden liegende Kamera, bringt den Zuschauer auf die Augenhöhe des Künstlers und lässt ihn so das Geschehen aus dessen Sicht miterleben. Vor dem Hintergrund, dass Cooke dieses Hotelzimmer selbst bewohnt und als Reinigungskraft für das Hotel arbeitet, wird die sozialkritische Intention der Performance deutlich. Das Video lässt zwei Deutungsebenen zu; zum einen greift Cooke die Missstände auf, denen einfache Dienstkräfte tagtäglich ausgesetzt sind. Diese zeigen sich in schlechten Arbeitsbedingungen und mangelndem Respekt, nicht nur von Seiten des Arbeitgebers, sondern auch der Gesellschaft. Der Künstler drückt dies in seiner devoten Körperhaltung aus, die darüber hinaus veranschaulicht, dass sich aus dieser Unterordnung der Verlust von Würde, Status und Respekt entwickelt. Zum anderen formuliert der Künstler mit seiner Performance eine subtile Anleitung zur Auflehnung gegen diese Misere. Die Körperhaltung kann insofern auch als Trotz gelesen werden. Dieser nicht greifbare, stille Widerstand verspricht nach Meinung des Künstlers mehr Erfolg als der offene Protest.

Marion Klein-Hitpass


Britt Dunse [Videonale.12] x

Norden, 2004, 7:15 (2:02) min., sound, colour [Videonale.12]

Engaged in a search for a love that is just as removed from reality as the path to the stars is long. Imprisoned in daily life, with no courage to step forward, Britt Dunse's protagonist stumbles through his memories and longs for his beloved, so far away, to appear. „Now I wait, hoping for another miracle to come“ - persisting in this hope, the young man deals with everyday matters, overwhelmed by trivialities which in his view of things should yield to love, but which in reality stubbornly take up space. Between confetti, post-its and paper boats, they meet each other for a brief moment, only to go off afterwards in different directions. „Hold me tight, before it's too late“, sing the paper cranes - symbols of his yearning - and fly out of everyday life in an attempt to find the way to her. Norden is a romantic, melancholy interpretation of love and its realization, of inequality and failure, where matter-of-fact residing and living encounters a mental world made out of animated origami.

Kathrin Ann Bender


Mischa Kuball [Videonale.12] x

Platon's Mirror, 2008, 20:52 min, silent, colour [Videonale.12]

In his work Platon´s Mirror, Mischa Kuball shows us Plato´s Allegory of the Cave. An unfurled sheet of plastic serves as a projection surface. The light falls on it from the front and is reflected by the motion of the plastic surface, which creates amorphous planes structured by the folds of the sheet. A horizontal line, among other things, arouses associations of a landscape. The folds in the upper third of the projection surface look like rays, so that the image of a sun is formed, which, according to Plato, stands for "good". As in the allegory, it is possible to perceive reflected images of human figures passing by. Colorful planes, contours, and shapes are created, fade, and transform in different rhythms on a surface whose overall unity is broken up into three small parts on the left. The projection is not tangible; the depiction cannot be related to anything being depicted; the shadow plays cannot be interpreted in any specific, concrete way. What is seen are images of reality, mirror images - as the title already implies. Significantly, it is the reflective medium of video that causes them to occur. Hence this is a double-edged parody of twentieth-century theories of perception, whose origins are in the dualism propounded in ancient Greece. This is a dialectic, visual demonstration of media crtique, the aesthetics of reception, and the pseudo-reality of media.

Pia Damm


Tahireh Lal [Videonale.12] x

Tah, 2008, 4:30 min., sound, colour [Videonale.12]

In her work Tha, Indian artist Tahireh Lal visualizes individual phases of a relaxation exercise. She produced the video within the scope of her art studies in Bangalore. Fading in from black, the work opens with orchestrated aesthetic lighting which at first only makes it possible to see the lined contours of individual parts of the body. This is followed by close-ups - of a throat, an open palm, feet, and an eye in the process of opening. These provide only a vague idea of the position of the person meditating. Intercut are images of a quiet, evenly breathing, material object in the shape of a human abdomen. Cross-fades connect the static camera shots, creating a peaceful, constant flow of movement. Acoustically, the video is underpinned by an increasingly calm heartbeat, meditative music, and the sounds of the ocean. Minimal usage of image and sound focuses the viewer´s attention on the perception of the body. Conspicuously, the images continually come into focus on elements such as hair, lifelines, veins, breath, pulse, heartbeat, and the ocean sounds, conceptualizing the flow of life energy. As in a relaxation exercise, the viewer is encouraged to let go of thoughts and impressions, to concentrate on individual parts of the body and on the life-supporting breath, which provides inner peace, and in this way experience him- or herself. 

Katharina Geyer


Kalin Lindena [Videonale.12] x

Gegenüber [Ein Stehtanz], 2008, 9:44 min, sound, colour [Videonale.12]

As implied by the title, only seconds after it starts, the music of this film has set the mood for a dance film. Artist Kalin Lindena herself is involved in the performance, which shows her dance trio in long shots of Rockaway Beach in New York. In a picturesque setting, the apparently improvised free dance is accompanied by classical music, which is replaced by more modern rhythms as night falls. Sculptures by the artist are superimposed, creating a transition to the galleries at the Oldenburger Kunstverein. There, in a kind of silhouette, she performs a stationary dance among the objects, which have taken on a type of physicality and seem to be more than just props. The two settings are linked by light signals, with which the dancers come into contact. The way the dancers look directly into the camera also focuses the audience. This not only connects spaces, but brings people and objects "face to face". Synchronously or asynchronously, new movements are added to traditional steps, resulting in the development of an innovative form of dance. The peculiar ability of the modern work of art to open up different possible variations lies in its communicative structures. Kalin´s "open" way of dealing with stages, props, figurines, and extras is very close to Umberto Eco´s modern understanding of an open work of art: "An open work of art has the task of the showing us the image of discontinuity; it does not tell it, it is it". [Umberto Eco, The Open Work, [Cambridge, MA, 1989]].

Nora Jablonowski, Vesna Tornjanski


Rebecca Loyche [Videonale.12] x

All's fair in love and war, 2007/08, 9:22 min., sound, colour [Videonale.12] 

In her video All´s Fair in Love and War, American artist Rebecca Loyche´s theme is, as it has been in previous of her works, weapons and violence.The viewer encounters an American male, approximately thirty years old, athletic and sportily clad. He is a weapons specialist who trains people how to handle weapons. In a series of four sequences, with great expertise he explains their development and how they are used on people. Guns are his first topic, but in the final sequence he dramatically demonstrates how to kill a person with just one thrust of a knife - which part of the body to stab - and how long it takes for the person to bleed to death. His presentation remains unemotional and very precise all the way to the end. Due to the static camera and the close-ups, the viewer can hardly retreat; rather, the impression is of being in the same room with the protagonist. Loyche places the weapons expert in private living quarters, the conservative, middle-class décor of which contrasts with the brutality of the video´s content. She blends the supposedly neutral characteristics of a documentary with a consciously arranged interior. In this way, she undermines the already fine line of demarcation between a seat of domesticity and a theater of war.

Mara Wallat


Jakub Nepraš [Videonale.12] x

Trip, 2008, 03:05 min., sound, colour [Videonale.12]

Jakup Nepraš takes the viewer on a special kind of trip during which there are all sorts of things to see: amusement park rides springing up like flowers among houses made of industrial and technological junk and overly large, ordinary objects, neon signs, billboards, and a variety of other things. The intense colors and background sound of this video collage are reminiscent of music clips on MTV. The monotonous rhythm of the music imitates the sound of a moving train. A train passing by in the other direction, overhead cables, and platforms make it clear that the viewer is in the position of a passenger. At the end of the journey, the video collage turns into a view of a train station, filmed without any special effects. Nepraš plays with the double meaning of the word trip. The colorful world of the video recalls a drug high, where real and animated objects in altered proportions are associatively set into the new context of a surreal landscape. Just as the unconscious mind reassembles objects and experiences in a dream, the objects in the video are rearranged. When the trip is over, the roofs of real buildings appear behind walls, the viewer arrives in a real train station, and the fantastic journey comes to an abrupt end. 

Kathrin Fuchs


Stefanie Ohler [Videonale.12] x

The attempt of smashing, 2007, 09:30 min, no sound, colour [Videonale.12]

When you think of butterflies provides brightly colored, feathery creatures fluttering joyfully and to belong to an own mythical world seem. Looking into the room, the work of Stefanie Ohler offers, but initially very different. In a darkened bedroom allows the occupant of the old-time, first pass blunt. The mythical creatures are considered exotic in a showcase beautiful. But they have lost their vitality, for which they are so loved. They are impaled on pins and assorted behind glass. The resident is attempting a metamorphosis of their own reality in the world of butterflies by the dead animals hanging on threads and even imitating their flight on a swing. The experiment, the animals and themselves to meet with ease and life "smash", like a butterfly, but remains an experiment. The artist Stefanie Ohler gathers itself - already dead - insects. Her work deals with the frontiers of imagination and reality, violence and beauty, asylum.

Anna Flammersfeld-Batouei


Rebecca Ann Tess [Videonale.12] x

Orchids, 2008, 21:21, sound, colour [Videonale.12]

“A completely normal life together, absolutely nothing else,” is how a seventy-two-year-old lady describes her relationship with the gay Peter as we follow her voice telling us about her memories for twenty minutes. What sort of meaning a concept like normality can develop in the most intimate areas of life is the theme of Rebecca Tess’s Orchids. How should one live? How is one allowed to live? Orchids provides viewers with a living example, confronting them with the conventions to which they themselves are probably subject. The narrator’s elucidations of family, love, and relationships are illustrated with a slide show made up of found footage, which is thematically clocked to the narration. Instead of the family photo album, the viewer sees media images from newspapers, magazines, films, and the Internet. In their confrontation with the personal views of a model of an unconventional life, they subvert the visual and narrative canon that influences our notions of normality. Throughout the work, the images—some of which are in semantic correspondence to the narrative, while others are in opposition—constitute a continually coherent visual alphabet that offers viewers room to investigate the clichés that underlie their ideas of values. Tess’s work demonstrates that “normal” can also mean “transgender”, and leaves it up to each viewer to question his or her own world of stereotypical images.

Maren Haffke


Connie Walsh [Videonale.12] x

Cenetar, 2008, 4:00 min, Farbe, Ton [Videonale.12]

Wo liegt die Grenze zwischen Spiel und Realität? Kann Unschuld in Bedrohung umschlagen? Wann und wie wird menschliche Aggression erzeugt?

Diese und noch weitere Fragen stellt das Video Cenetar von Connie Walsh. Die ersten Bilder zeigen ein Kind, das ein Kriegsspiel spielt. Es trägt einen Kopfhörer und spricht ins Mikrofon, wie bei einem interaktiven Computerspiel. Der blaue Himmel im Hintergrund und das wie ein Engel auf Wolken thronende Kind vermitteln einen friedlichen Eindruck. Es ist nicht nur die Stimme des Jungen zu hören, sondern O-Töne eines Piloten, dessen Äußerungen sich mit denen des Kindes vermischen. Das Wechselspiel der Dialogcollage wirkt verstörend, da das unschuldige Kind im Spiel Vernichtungsbefehle erteilt. Der Kopfhörer und das Mikrofon verdeutlichen, dass es eigentlich kaum Unterschiede zwischen dem kleinen Jungen und dem Piloten gibt, der das Spiel schon im wirklichen Leben spielt. Am Ende des vierminütigen Videos hört man Bombengeräusche und das Kind verschwindet ganz plötzlich. Spielt der Junge einen Erwachsenen oder ist das ganze Video eine Imagination des Piloten während einer echten Mission?

Connie Walsh führt uns eine Untersuchung der menschlichen Aggression vor. Ihre Gesellschaftskritik entsteht durch die Inszenierung einer Ambivalenz, die Spiel und Realität ununterscheidbar macht.

Milen Zhelev

Videonale.12 (March 26 – April 26, 2009 at Kunstmuseum Bonn)

1445 submissions (from 74 countries)

43 selected works

Curator: Georg Elben

The Videonale Preis was received by Manon de Boer („Attica“).