Faces / Face as the phenomenon in videoart
Galerie Rudolfinum / Prague
20.06.2012 - 16.09.2012
Curator: Ladislav Kesner
Human face has traditionally been a major subject of visual arts, constituting a genre of portraiture and self-portraiture. The advent of moving image – first in film and later in videoart – opened new possibilities and dimensions of representation of human face. Depiction of face in film and videoart was profoundly affected by shifts in the conceptions of self, identity, relationship of body and mind etc., brought about by 20th century psychology, philosophy and science.
The exhibition, composed of a selection of seventeen experimental films and video art works and installations from the late 1960´s to the present, focuses on the face as a representational medium. Its aim is to explore complex and multifaceted ways in which face as captured through moving image constructs and communicates personal identity, mental states, and narrative structures. It seeks to open a detailed insight into the mechanisms of facial expression and relationship between the visible expression and invisible mental structures. It thus seeks to show the delicate web of interconnections between the biological and cultural aspects of the face. It should reveal that despite the face having a ubiquitous presence – indeed banality – and being a subject of intense scientific research – it still retains a peculiar mystery.
Marina Abramović / Vito Acconci / Peter Campus / Juan Manuel Echavarría / Douglas Gordon / Franz Gratwohl / Freya Hattenberger / Nan Hoover / Bruce Nauman / Nam June Paik / Ulrike Rosenbach / Steina / Miloš Šejn / Fiona Tan / Bill Viola / Peter Weibel
Works of Miloš Šejn:
MLAKA / Becoming a Maple Creek, video, 1999-2012, 00.11.05
Mlaka / Javořím potokem (Mlaka / Becoming a Maple Creek) is a short sequence extracted from a much longer tape, documenting his journey and performance in the stream bearing the same name in the Giant Mountains on 17 July 1999. This early video already anticipates the key theme of the photographic and videoperformances which Šejn has been making during the last decade and in which he sought to transform his fleeting body sculptures into some sort of a permanent audiovisual record of body - namely the drama of the transient moments of micro-interaction of body with the landscape and the natural world. In Šejn’s video, the slowed down footage allow the viewer to uncover what would normally remain under the radar of normal perception. Micro-movements of the face convey merely ‘the drama’ of state of mind and body underneath the mountain stream, flow of consciousness, a state of mind in the moment of his submerged existence - something Šejn tried to capture in his ex-post verbal commentary on this ‘situation’:
“…when de facto, my face and body become a face of water, face of that stream in the valley of enormous massive of Black mountain…it is also the situation of an interval between life and death, when the human life cyclically transforms into another life. Interface of the water surface is that pulsing membrane between the forces of nature…..the last thing to remain as the boundaries dissolve is the shape of breath and an awareness that I breathe is the last thing to tie me with a space ‘in between’.”