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Video Symphony @ Ego Park
A Matter of Perspective
by Aimee Le Duc on Aug 18, 2004
It is rare when we discover a location where the connection between our bodies, our vision and our experiences can exist together in a thick sea of images, but Bay Area artists Deniz Demirer and Alex Killough have given us the opportunity to do just that in their installation, Video Symphony: Sequence to Simultaneity: Body Motion, Tech Motion showing at Ego Park Gallery in Oakland.
Heavily borrowed from Russian filmmaker, Andrey Tarkovsky's notion "that a person is quite simply not capable of watching several actions at once", Demirer and Killough enlisted the help of three other people to film themselves and each other frolic naked on a beach. Each person's view was then edited onto its own screen and played alongside the other views until the individual experience was consumed by the chance to wholly experience multiple acts as one fractured yet total moment. This exhibit is a trip deep into philosophical notions of what it is to experience our self as a part of a greater sequence of events and at the same time it is a bold commentary on our complex relationships to technology.
Throughout the installation, we are witnesses to a journey through a film sequence created with five people filming and participating in the same event. Viewers are teased into various sequences of the film as they walk through the first floor of the gallery. Four video monitors, cleverly installed on top of translucently exposed columns looming at over six feet tall, detail specific views of the sequencing in a myriad of ways, forcing viewers to question how images come together, how they break apart and how, as viewers, we are responsible for making these connections for ourselves. All the while, hauntingly unfamiliar but recognizable samplings of deep, harmonizing chanting can be heard from each of the four monitors.
The images push viewers deeper into the symphony, until they arrive on the second floor of the gallery in front of a five-screen installation where, finally, all five filmmakers/improvisational actors and all five screens appear together in a room where the pacing and harmonizing of the images is controlled by the movements of the audience in the room. Standing still allows the sequence to play correctly at its intended pace, but the more viewers move around and change their position, the more the images lose their sequential shape and form. This installation is a location of connection, where the thrilling experience of seeing, being seen and participating in the brutal manipulation of this experiment comes together in images as simple and silly as five naked people running around on a beach.
Video Symphony is an experimental process of exposing close and closed samples of perspective. From the first moment of entering the exhibit to walking deeper into and passing each monitor to ending up inside the complete screening of the harmonized film, we are forced to gain and lose control of our vision simultaneously until a new and visceral visuality is discovered altogether.
Sequence to Simultaneity: Body Motion, Tech Motion
Exhibition Opening: Friday, June 4, 2004 7-9pm
Ego Park Gallery
492 23rd Street
Hours: By Appointment
Image credit: untitled video still from Video Symphony, (2004) Deniz Demirer and Alex Killough
by Aimee Le Duc on Aug 18, 2004