Bloody fantastic exhibition! Heavy Weight History consists of Polish power lifters attempting, and sometimes succeeding, to lift politically rife monuments around Warsaw. Documented in the form of a reality TV show, much like World’s Strongest Man (one of my favourite TV programmes!) the work questions the continuing relevance of public statues, and uses the rich historical backdrop of Poland as the stage to do so. Being of Polish heritage myself I have often visited Warsaw and have specifically visited a lot of the statues in the work.
It is interesting to think about these large symbols of communist oppression, such as statues and buildings that are left behind and forced on the locals and the meaning that they now signify. I’m thinking specifically about The Palace of Culture in Warsaw, the so called ‘gift of the Soviet nations to the Polish people’, which is still widely despised by the Polish and yet is a massive tourist attraction and landmark to outsiders.
From the 2nd of February until the 14th of April, the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne was host to the magical film works of Kelly Richardson.
Each room on the top floor of the gallery was dedicated to a different mythical landscape, with the large initial room showing Leviathon, 2011 introduced a sci-fi like lagoon scene, looking like something out of Avatar and Predator combined.
The epic scale of the works provided an intensely immersive experience and films became portals to these unknown lands. This cinematic transportation of the viewer perfectly captured the feeling I get when standing on a mountain top or when exploring a dense forest, the feeling that no one else exists. The double sided hanging forest projections, The Great Destroyer, and The Erudtition, shown below were my favourite pieces.
On a separate, later trip to the Towner I had the good fortune of seeing film-maker John Skoog’s first UK solo show. I was particularly struck by his film Reduit (Redoubt) which takes the form of dark, brooding slow shots of the home of Swedish farmer Karl Goran Persson. Persson built the house by hand and fuelled by his intense fear of impending Soviet invasion continuously fortified his home with junk and found objects. The voice over provides an insight into the character of this farmer, who was so mightily strong he would carry large girders back from town on his bike to add to his fortress like home.
I have always been drawn to film as a medium for my own work due to its ability to take you outside of yourself, and convince you of its reality. Both the exhibitions I saw a the Towner showed a different type of world. The first a mythical landscape, digitally created and the second a mythical landscape created by hand.
As the days scarily pass by, with now only two weeks to go till my MA show, Sequenced (Private View on the 28th of June at Brighton University) I am naturally procrastinating (I call it research) by means of the internet.
My project consists of projection mapping on to 3 plaster torsos and as nothing is original anymore I wanted to see if there were any examples of this sort of thing already out there.
Robert Seidel is a Berlin based artist who works with experimental film and is bloody brilliant! The work pictured above is entitled folds and uses projections to highlight the history of plaster casts and to bring them alive. The piece was created for the Lindenau Museum in Altenburg, Germany. The continuous replication of these Grecian statues lends to the fact that even when they are missing limbs and broken, they are still completely recognisable. Seidel talks about the way in which moving image can make a static object come alive. These are all things I am working towards in my own practice.
Located on Finsbury Square, Central London, Bloomberg SPACE’s current exhibition is a collaboration between the video artist and director Charles Atlas, the South London Gallery and Bloomberg SPACE.
Within this busy district of London the space is a welcome retreat and offers a portal like experience as you enter through layers of curtain and are thrust in to Atlas’ 360 degree multi channel video installation. The height of the ceilings and therefore the projected films are impressive and lend to a completely immersive feel.
For Glacier, 2013, Atlas has used footage from the Bloomberg digital archives and stock and found footage from other sources. The clear division of these different visuals is made all the more disorientating by the constant movement of them around the room. Using striking visuals such as underwater scenes, giant faces that look like they are from a commercial, a frantic looking eye and larger than life cows the space is transformed in to a cage which traps the shrunken audience members within its continuous loop. There is a brief respite from the moving images when the entire space fades to black, this is preceded by the whole room being enveloped with a projection of what it looks like outside the gallery when the windows are not blacked out. It is a if the viewer has been placed within a box which allows them to see it out but others to be unable to see in. The repetition of passers by walking around the walls of the room gives a groundhog day, claustrophobic feel. The use of sound within the space is also eerie as a continuous droning noise scores the visuals.
The exhibition is on until the 30th of March and I would encourage anyone who visits to go at a less busy time, I attended roughly an hour before closing and there was no one else in the space. This added to the immersive, other worldly sensation of the work.
In the lead up to our final show for the Digital Media Arts Masters that I am currently undertaking, this immersive and engrossing feel is exactly the sort of thing I want to achieve in my own work. I will update my progress over the next two months!
Above is a quick teaser trailer I did for an exciting new project at Preston Manor in Brighton called Murder in the Manor.
Murder in the Manor is an Arts Council funded collaboration between Brighton & Hove’s Royal Pavilion and Museums, the Little Green Pig creative writing group, and the website developer, Say Digital.
Check out the Murder in the Manor website for a 360′ tour of rooms of Preston Manor and to see how the murder mystery unfolds.
Jeff Keen Dreams of The Archduke Sketchbook from Jennifer Milarski on Vimeo.
A film made for the Jeff Keen retrospective, Shoot The Wrx, Artists and Film Maker Jeff Keen, at Brighton Museum.
The film being shown in the gallery is closer to 20 minutes long but this version has been sped up to give a taste of what is inside.
Copyright belongs to The Jeff Keen Estate and Brighton & Hove Museum and Art Gallery.
The film was produced by Jennifer Milarski, with the help of Anne Nielsen.
Check out my new blog post for 5thRowJoe.com, who I will be writing for in the Art section from now on!