FEAR & DESIRE
RECENT EUROPEAN EXPERIMENTS WITH CINEMA
Featuring the work of Julian Rosefeldt, Christoph Girardet and Matthias Muller, Clement Page, Reynold Reynolds, Marion Tampon-Lajarriette and Mattia Biagi
Exhibition Dates: September 18th, 2014 – November 1st, 2014
There are few subjects in the study of cinema that are quite as salient as fear & desire. Freud, Lacan, Lyotard and dozens more have written about the desiring, or libidinal, function of the cinematic, while semioticians such as Christian Metz and Laura Mulvey have used such psychological, voyeuristic mechanisms such as distance, displacement, fetishism and lack to develop some of the key concepts of cinematic theory. For Metz, cinema is, as he says, “an extraordinary activator of fetishism [in that] it endlessly mimes the primal displacement of the look between the seen absence and the presence nearby… thus cinema literally plays with the terror and the pleasure of fetishism, with its combination of fear and desire.”Co-curated by Clement Page, the exhibition Fear & Desire at Young Projects features 6 films by some of Europe’s most respected film-and-video artists. Each medium-to-short work attempts to find that place located somewhere in between the two eponymous emotions--where the protagonist (as well as the viewer) searches for heightened emotional states that ultimately are also the source dread.
Works in the exhibition:
Drawing from “Hold Your Breath” 2 (2010)
Pen and inkEd 1/5
Drawing from “Hold Your Breath” 1 (2010)
Pen and inkEd 1/5
Drawing from “Hold Your Breath” 3 (2010)
Pen and inkEd 1/5
Excerpt (last 20 mins) of L’age d’Or (1930) by Luis Bunuel
L’Age d’or, (The Golden Age) is Bunuel’s second film. It’s based on a text by the Marquis de Sade and follows a couple who continually fail to consummate their love for one another due to absurd obstructions. In the process the film explores the insanities of modern life, the hypocrisy of bourgeois sexual mores and the values dictated by the church. Julian Rosefeldt’s “Deep Gold” (2014) was designed to be inserted into the film at the 55 min point, right the sequence in de Sade’s castle.
Christoph Girardet & Matthias Muller
Color with stereo sound
aspect ratio 1:85
12 min 09 sec loop
Christoph Girardet & Matthias Muller have been working as experimental film artists since the 1980s and have garnered numerous awards for their collage approach to the medium. Their film “Cut” (2013) uses found-footage culled from a wide-range of lesser-known films, often with actors who are difficult to name. Each shot or sequence depicts a wounded or injured character (entirely without histrionics), to create an utterly lyrical, yet disturbing, meditation on the idea of the “wound” as a physical, yet mythical subject, one that Jung often explored as 'the Christ wound', or ‘the wound the never heals’.
Black Blossom 1 (2014)
Artificial flowers, tar, resin and flower vase
Approx 60” x 28”
This Must Be the Place (2014)
Paper collage, tar, frame
8” x 10”
Fear & desire are central preoccupations for Italian artist Mattia Biagi, whose sculpture work is often focused on the hypocrisy and absurdity of traditional belief systems (which of course, are defined by fear & desire). His “Nothing Lasts Forever” (2014) offers a very physical manifestation of the eponymous theme
One Part Seven (2014)
2-channel film Color, stereo soundshot on HD
aspect ratio 4:3 (Ch 1),16:9 (Ch 2)6 min 12 sec loop
The art-historical is referenced once again in Reynold Reynolds latest 2-channel work, “One Part Seven” (2014), which uses stop-motion photography, stills, murals and multiple screens to animate an Albrecht Durer drawing from 1525. Here Durer’s tenant that the female nude can be “analyzed in the manner of science” by using a perspective device is actualized by the artist, and yet at the same time, it clearly relates to the idea of the gaze (and sublimated desire), as described by Laura Mulvey. (To paraphrase Mulvey, ‘film takes up a man's need to demystify, devaluate, and overvalue the woman.’)
Hold Your Breath (2010)
1-channel film black&white, soundshot on HD
aspect ratio 16:916 min 30 sec loop
Clement Page has been exploring ideas of neurosis through a series of films starting in 2010. The first film, entitled, 'Hold Your Breath' is based on Sigmund Freud's case history of the ‘The Wolf-Man: From the History of an Infantile Neurosis’, and explores the mind of a five year old boy Sergei, whose enigmatic character is transformed one summer when he develops a phobia (fear) of animals. The film looks at the origins of Sergei's fear in relation to his emerging sexual curiosity. This film was selected by Ingvild Goetz for her exhibition 'Open End--film and video from the Sammlung Goetz Collection’ at the Haus Der Kunst in Munich and has been shown at the Freud Dream Museum in Russia.
La Passerelle (2007)
aspect ratio 4:3 (x2)
3 min 30 sec loop (x2)
The French artist, Marion Tampon-Lajarriette offers a silent work, “La Passerelle,” on two projection screens. In this case, the artist pulls two scenes from two well-known theatrical films, each of which deal with inculcation (and seduction) of young protagonists into radical politics: “Before the Revolution (1964)” by Bernardo Bertolucci and “Regular Lovers (2005)” by Philippe Garrel. Each scene features a female figure, seen in close-up, during a flirtation and/or seduction scene. Yet her suitor is never seen nor heard, and thus the subject of displacement, voyeurism and lack are both spatialized and realized
Untitled (Skull) (2013)
Artificial human skull, tar, gold base
9” x 11”
Nothing Lasts Forever (2014)
Artificial flowers, tar, wood base
30” x 43”
Deep Gold (2013/14)
1-channel film black & white, soundshot on HD
converted to HD-SR and transferred onto a Hard disc playeraspect ratio 16:918 min 12 sec loop
Rosefeldt, who’s 5-channel film, “American Night (2010)” was one of the highlights of Young Projects’ program in 2012, will be presenting his latest film, “Deep Gold (2014)” (The first time shown in the US). Shot in Black & White, the 18-minute film was designed as an “insert” into Luis Bunuel’s notorious provocation, “L’Age d’Or”, which caused near riots when it was released in 1930. For “Deep Gold” Rosefeldt not only recreates the hyper-decadent world of Berlin circa 1925, but employs liberal excerpts from feminist art manifestos from the 20th century to underscore the political nature of lust, desire and fetishism alike.
Christoph Girardet & Matthias Muller
Maybe Siam (2013)
1-channel film Color with stereo soundaspect ratio 1:8512 min 29 sec loop
Maybe Siam” (2013) from Girardet and Muller, uses a similar approach to their “Cut”, where various scenes featuring “blind” characters are woven together to create an equally compelling, purely self-reflexive, work. Yet here the sound too is displaced, playing only over black leader just as the protagonists would experience it.
About the artists
Julian Rosefeldt has been the subject of numerous shows around the world and his work can be found in dozens of major collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Saatchi Gallery, London; The Goetz Collection, Munich; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon and many more.
Girardet and Muller have been working as experimental film artists since the 1980s and their work has been honored with dozens of major awards worldwide. Their projects are held in some of the world's most presitgious collections including the Centre Pompidou, MACBA, the Tate Modern, the Netherlands Film Museum, the Sammlung Goetz Collection, Colección Sánchez Ubiría, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, and more
Reynold Reynolds’ films have been exhibited at numerous international institutions and have been collected by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon; Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf; the Sammlung Hoffman Collection, Berlin; the Centro de Arte Caja, Burgow and many more.
Clement Page’s films and photographs have been exhibited wildly, often at such institutions as Haus der Kunst, Munich ('Open End' Films and Video's from Sammlung Goetz); Kunstverein Neuhausen, Neuhausen/Fildern Kunstpalais, Stadt Erlangen; Centre d'Art Bastille, Grenoble; Freud’s Dream Museum, St Petersberg; 'Video in the city' curated by Art Brussels exhibition panel, Brussels, and more.
Tampon-Lajarriette work has been shown at the Swiss Institute, New York; the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the Museum Les Abbattoirs, Toulouse; Fabrica del Arte, Havana; Bourses Contemporary Art Center, Geneva; the Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow and more
Mattia Biagi’s work has been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the New Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte; the Officine dell’Immagine, Milan; Foundation Franz Paludetto, Rome; Castello di Rivara, Turin and more.