TRANS PAR ENT 21.04.2007 - 30.04.2007
curated by Aikaterini Gegisian and Konstantinos Dagritzikos
Talk between Heike Wetzig and Aikaterini Gegisian
After a short acquaintance with your works at the opening, I’d like to hear something about the way you came together for the show and about your artistic cooperation.
The show came together through an accidental meeting. I met Konstantinos in Athens in the beginning of 2004 and we got interested in each other’s work. We were both interested in developing artistic practices and also in exploring the role of the curator. After a few meetings in London and then in Athens, we decided to develop trans par ent in his project space in Athens, B.I.G Contemporary Art Project Space.
We are interested in exploring the themes of surveillance and observation and their relevance for contemporary art practices. We then went on to invite some artists to work with us on the project, and through some initial discussion with them we established the main concerns of the show to reflect their individual positions. In that sense the show was unconventional in that it did not impose a theme on the artists or selected already finished works, but rather worked with the artists in the development of the curatorial process. The show went on to take a nomadic character – we decided to move to different spaces but to transform the exhibition by asking the artists to make new work for each new space.
The title of the show, trans par ent, with spaces between the syllables, suggests to be some symbol of seeing - or the perception of - fading, hidden or temporal phenomena. There are surfaces: A dirty lens; darkness; clearness; a video; a shimmering; the paper; the gallery window through which we look into the backyard, over a wall, and to a graffiti painted out there which does not belong to the exhibition - but a small framed work by Youngmi Chun inside, an almost unremarkable writing, speaks to the graffiti (as one of the gallerists told me); and there is the drawing series April Protests by Tim Jukes outside the gallery on the brick facade, nearby everyday torn off poster adverts for events. So, the whole gallery space seems to become a resonance body?
When we were selecting the title of the show we were interested in the prefix – trans as a way to indicate the process of transformation and of movement. The idea came about to use the word trans par ent as it is spelled in a dictionary entry to point to the process of transformation, of appearing and disappearing. We were interested in ideas, material and surfaces that were in the process of becoming apparent.
What is your motivation for your individual art work? (What do we see ‘new’, when we see your works, and how do you understand the difference between real life and art as a place for emotions or reduction?)
The two main motivations of my work are the everyday and the cinematic. I follow a journey into the parallel worlds of the cinematic and the everyday. In the work, the cinematic encompasses not only the moving image but also the way the individual universe is mediated through images and sounds. In the everyday, I explore the ephemeral traces in urban structures and trajectories of displacement.
The ‘new’ in the work, if one has to define that, is the different manifestation, the variations and the instances of the possibilities that form my practice. In my thinking real life and art are always, already, all the time intermingled.
Could you say something about the importance of globalisation for you - migration, home towns, travelling, movement, the interest in localities? And that is followed by the question: What do you expect from your next exhibition station in Istanbul, as a changing situation after Athens and Berlin?
In my work, I am continuously drowned to examine processes and trajectories of displacement and the affects of movement in the construction of sites, spaces and localities. I am also interested in examining personal histories and geographies.
In terms of the exhibition, its nomadic character, the fact that it moves and as it moves changes and transforms, reflects issues around globalization and the proliferation of movement. The next exhibition in Istanbul is a continuation of this journey and inevitably it will get affected by the space that we will work and the ideas that the artists will bring to it.
Do you have a specific interest in the realisation of your themes by - maybe preferred - media, material or technologies, as an experience in your life?
I am mainly working with video, sound and text and most recently still images. The work takes the form of audiovisual cinematic installations, single-screen and site-specific projects. The observational mode, the act of looking, is central in the examination of the subjective relations between individuals and between the work and its audience. While the raw materials are intuitively collected, the work involves the detailed weaving of images and sounds in carefully constructed ‘spatial narrative’ environments. The soundtrack usually acts as counterpoint to the visual narrative, challenging the image and pointing to a different psychological and perceptual space. The voice of the artist is injected into the world of the image.
I found some melancholy in the show, as in Himmel_8/Cielo_8 by Charela Diaz (which could also have to do with the relationship of words and images, or with landscape?). In the cardboard furniture by Philipa Martin are six layers with collections of small usual tools like nails, screws, boxes, plugs, tiny carpet pieces. I couldn’t name some of them which was a strange moment. Melancholy is quite obvious in Notes on a Conception of a Film in Past, Present and Future Times by you, Aikaterini. It is a famous, accepted artistic mood in western Europe, it signals a serious quest and ripeness in the self-experience of one’s own unability to get it; and also the knowledge of transience; of life and things that pass. Do you identify with this mood?
I think your observations are quite accurate. I have to admit that this was not a conscious goal for us – to choose work that reflected this melancholic feeling, but it was rather something that came about from the way the artists responded to the themes of the show.