Amsterdam-based photographer and video artist Fiona Tan (born 1966) has been a central figure on the contemporary art scene since the 1990s. In her video News from the Near Future (2003) a collage of historic film and audio material tells of man’s ambivalent relationship with water as a force of nature. Drawing on the archives of the Amsterdam Film Museum, Tan composed a narrative crescendo starting off with idyllic impressions of the watery world and building to increasingly menacing scenarios of an unleashed nature. Images of floods and churning seas, of wild winds and storms, parade before our eyes the destructive force of water. Tragedies at sea are reported in the style of old newsreels or radio shows, segueing into pictures of flooded cities that – as indicated in the work’s title – forebode future catastrophes. The cinematic repertoire of waves, tides and floods acts as an historical memory, presenting the sea as a metaphor for the flow of time. Continue reading Fiona Tan – News from the Near Future (2003)
For over 20 years Sophie Calle’s work has taken the form of photographic installations and chronicles, whose structure and form reflect a narrative approach – both within themselves individually and, taken together, in terms of Calle’s own career. Born in Paris in 1953, Calle’s early work dates from a world trip in the 1970s that lasted seven years. During a stay in California in 1978 she took her first photographs – graves marked Father and Mother – with no professional intent, she simply had come upon something that ‘her father might like’. On her return to Paris she began tailing unknowns in the street as part of a conscious ‘drifting through the city’, recording the results in notebooks containing photographs and texts.
By the 1980s the emphasis had moved to her own feelings resulting in the construction of a set of rules and rituals intended to resolve certain personal difficulties. This was followed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s by a concentration on the concept of sight and more recently issues to do with the disappearance of people and things. Continue reading Sophie Calle & Greg Shepard – No Sex Last Night aka Double Blind (1992)
A modern day homage to Un chien andalou deemed unviewable and exploitative by the Winnipeg Short Film Massacre.
Format 16 mm colour
The term ‘visual arts’ that is prevailing in modernity is really a symptom for the reduction of perceptional categories within the human creativity as a whole. An anthropological conception of art – and I have proved for instance in sculptural theory that you hear a sculpture before you see it, that consequently the auditive element is not just an equal part, but a constituent of the perception of plastic art – confronts you with the task of exploring the conception of creativity in all directions, of spreading it out and substantiating it anthropologically. So for instance, the human creativity potential as a whole doesn’t only comprise the recognition criteria in thought, but it also comprises the sensational categories in the middle of the soul, that is, the moving element, and it positively comprises the will potential in human will. It is this interpretation of human creativity potential, beginning with the triple position, the connections of will, sense, and thought categories, which will get you to the more differentiated position of considering the perception, too, and thus the connection of human senses, discovering that for example seeing, the visual sense, the auditory sense, the static sense, the architectonic sense, the haptic sense, can be thought forward into the sense of feeling, the sense of will, the sense of thinking, and many other still to be developed senses. Continue reading Werner Nekes & Dore O. – Beuys (1981)