:: Parallel program during the exhibition ::
Sunday, 20 December, from sunrise (08:44) to sunset (16:36)
Evelin Brosi & Elvis Bonier, 20 DECEMBER [performance]
POSTPONED FOR 2021 / tba
Floris Vanhoof, BRAINWAVE FILM PROJECTOR [audio-visual performance]
POSTPONED FOR 2021 / tba
Hollis Frampton, ZORNS LEMMA [16mm film projection] with introduction by Xavier Garcia Bardon
Text by Wim Janssen
In the early 2000s, I went to see a filmprogram by Hollis Frampton in the Filmmuseum in Brussels. I went because I had no other plans for that night and I had heard his name before, unsure if the rock-musician also made movies. I watched Zorns Lemma, a strange edit of filmed words and discrete movements, in this completely naïve state, evolving from complete confusion to understanding something about how we perceive through images and text in the period of sixty minutes. A description of the film would amount to a formal listing of what is shown in that timespan and I’m afraid I lack the literary talent to do it justice. Suffice it to say that it stuck with me for all these years and made me understand that media can be seen as mental strategies as much as they are technologies. The film will be screened on 16mm at Out Of Sight with an introduction by Xavier Garcia Bardon (postponed to 2021/tba).
The exhibition LEMMAS takes Frampton’s film as a starting point, but it is not an exhibition about the film. It is a selection of recent works that moved me in a similar way, helping me understand something about the thought processes behind perception.
On the morning of 22 December 2013, Evelin Brosi & Elvis Bonnier (Boris Van den Eynden) took place at his kitchen table with a laptop running a modified word processor which automatically moved one space every second. From sunrise to sunset they typed down the beating of the clock, Tik Tak Tik Tak Tik Tak… Their performance changes the action of writing to something more akin to what cinema does to time – at a fixed interval of usually a twenty-fifth of a second, the projector moves ahead one image, no matter what the content. With this simple confusion of what we expect from the written word – to describe time, not to register it – our sense of what is valid content, and what is time well spend is reframed.
Evelin Brosi will do an English language version of the performance at Out Of Sight on 20 December 2020, from sunrise to sunset.
When walking by the exhibition space, a passer-by might be tricked into thinking a thrift shop has been opened where the exhibition space used to be. A collection of seemingly random, often cheap plastic objects on display. On closer inspection, something seems off. It is setup too carefully. The traits that connect the objects to one another are oddly specific. Basic colours and shapes recur. Cards with abstract figures and color ranges are mixed into the arrangement.
The installation Testreihe IV by Katrin Kamrau is based on amateur photography manuals in which objects are chosen to illustrate visual phenomena and photographic principles. When moving these items back into the realm of the tangible, we still see them from this perspective. The work activates our photographic eye onto the environment around us, confronting us with the perceptional strategies we rely on.
Marthe Koning’s Movement No.1 uses the image of a blue sky as a reference point. The video frame softly falls and shows the top of a tree line or an empty meadow, always sliding back to the deep blue above. We use the little information we receive to build up a space in our mind, but once we have an idea of what that environment could look like, it is again disrupted by showing us structures that could not have been present at the time of filming. The image of the blue sky is revealed to be the magician’s slight of hand. A means to an end disclosing the way we watch a video as being an active process on the part of the viewer, though often unconscious.
Waterbath by Antoinette Zwirchmayr continues in this questioning of the moving image. Three 16mm loops of slightly differing lengths show different vues of a waterfall. At fixed intervals each image is frozen for a short period of time. It is exactly this moment of standstill that grabs the attention, more as reflex than as a decision. Each time your eyes catch such a standstill, the movement returns, like trying to focus on a fixed point in the moving water.
This mixing of cinematic and photographic time is enhanced by the sound of the projectors continuously roaring in the space. The first reaction is of a breakdown in the mechanism, which in this case stands in for a gap in our expectation of what a filmed image should do.
Where the exhibition started with a question on the content of the printed word, it ends with an empty page. With The Silent A4, Jianan Qu shares his fascination with the object of a standardised piece paper, looking at it as visual and sculptural entity, rather than a carrier of information. This dimension is brought to the fore by the simple gesture of placing it upright and lighting it with a spotlight, to show it has a shadow. The question of what medium is used is by this way put on the viewer to decide.
Parallel to the exhibition, Floris Vanhoof will perform with his Brainwave Projector (postponed to 2021/tba). It is a 16mm projector modified to change its shutter speed in reaction to the brain activity of the artist. By entering this feedback loop between his eyes and the screen, he becomes an interface. The mechanism slows down with he’s calm and speeds up when he’s excited. Unexpectedly, this creates an inverse reaction to a viewer, the higher the frame-rate, the calmer the image. In this bizarre symbiotic relationship, Vanhoof makes the idea that media can be seen as mental strategies quite literal.