thesis / synopsis
Eve's Lost Paradise
New forms of narration took off when the cinematographic code was shattered in the sixties; the material character of the film itself took on new meaning. The celluloid was not only exposed but scratched, painted greased, taped, perforated etc. The projection surface was manipulated. Tearing and cutting the screen to be projected with light beams or projecting onto human bodies dressed, undressed or while dancing to the music. Many video artists exploded and multiplied the screen itself by dividing images using split-screen techniques and placing screens on different walls. This new visual culture was intent upon liberating itself from the conventional concept of painting as well as the restrictions of imaging technology and the repressive determinants of the social codes. Multiple screens and projections represented not only an expansion of visual horizons but also an overwhelming intensification of visual experience in service of a new approach to narration. It articulated a new perception of the world, diffuse and fragmentary. The widening of the material and the technical parameters went hand in hand with the dissolution of the social consensus and excessive individualism. The triumphant revival of the tendencies of the sixties is recognized in the video generation of the nineties. In the pursuit of a specific video-based language, the video art of the nineties focused on the expansion of image technologies and social consciousness of the sixties. There are many parallels in style, technique and motive but the video art of the nineties shows intense interest in multiple projections and a new approach to the multi-perspective narration. Technical stability enables the contemporary media artist to realize innumerable possibilities and new narrative techniques.
Is identity a matter of physical appearance, facial features, the body, or is it the mind, not tied to any physical reality whatever? Is there one self or various selves and who decides? What is the credibility of the individual who changes? Can you change and still remain the same? The stream of more or less the same information globally, through the media, interweaves the world. The blurring of various structures which have governed for centuries, such as family, religion and political beliefs are causing people to rely increasingly on their own individuality. People resemble each other more and more, taking the media for granted. The media, fed by advertisers, have the most to gain by the direct marketing of concepts of identity and lifestyle. Will the urge to belong, or the fear of losing individuality prove the stronger tendency? Is the need to identify so great that we prefer to imitate each other? Is the enormous range of different lifestyle true diversity or is it a matter of taste? Today one thing tomorrow the next, without consequence. Emotionless experiences stored as information, identities to be changed as clothing or interiors. Memories to ensure that we do not experience constant new impressions as complete chaos.
“Under this mask, another mask. I will never finish removing all these faces”
Claude Cahun, Studies for a Keepsake, 1925
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