directors lounge monthly screenings
Thursday, 31 July 2014
Elaine Tedesco, artist from Porto Alegre, Brazil, currently stays in Berlin at an artistic residence promoted by Goethe Institut. Elaine Tedesco's art comprises work which in France would be encompassed by the term "art plastiques." Her artist practice started with photography, moved to sculpture and objects, explored performance, which gave way to video and then came back to photography as a focus, while still continuing in the other fields in one way or the other.
The presentation at Z-Bar will be a unique compilation of work some of which has never been shown or shown in very different ways. The video work of Elaine Tedesco has a specific, very personal quality. The program consists of a number of what could be called miniatures from 1988 until now. "I shoot a lot, but I keep very few of them," she tells me. And those of which she usually shows, she usually presents as video installation on small screens. Though mostly presented together with he photography, the videos have a very different quality. They all appear to be almost precious stones. The musical equivalent would possibly be the Scherzo. The viewer sees a little boy exploring and passing again and again through a small swinging door, not much taller than himself; a close-up of an eye is rolling eyes and closing and opening its lid multiple times, as it consists of many layers; a couple of girls of different age move their bodies in a bubble-gum-colored environment; a woman on the waterfront watches the sea, while images of landscape passages spool like fast rolling japanese paper rolls in front of the viewer; or a woman, possibly the artist, stands on the curb in the nocturnal street facing a futuristic building, while cars pass by at slow speed. All of theses miniatures seem to present a glimpse of rather domestic life, but with an uncanny twist. Is this possibly the solution for the riddle these works may present for the viewer? They seem to contain an unexplainable spectre. The reason, these works also seem to be the gemstones that the artist keeps over the years.
Jonas Mekas once said, "I started photographing all these artists and art works in N.Y, because I did not understand." (quoted from memory) However, for Tedesco it is not the photographed art that causes the mystery but it is the video image itself, the curiosity that comes out of the question of "what is this?" This represents a unique quality of the video image, and very different to film, where just the illusion of textural quality often causes the joy of watching the observed. Videos, on the other hand, especially the earlier, small formats instead provoke meaning. They provoke the question of textuality instead of texture, something Elaine uses extensively, especially in one recurring theme: the conversation as whisper, the dialogue that stays undisclosed for the viewer.
In the work from Berlin, presented as work-in-progress, the artist uses a similar dialog again. This time she records artist dialogs, and she renders the sound almost opaque. In our image driven, but still text dominated world, this first appears to be frustrating to the viewer. However, this kind of situation has become quite common in a densely populated world with multi-lingual populations. We know to read from gestures and from a few snippets of words we possibly understand at least the situation of people. Elaine puts the viewer in the situation, where the interest to understand shifts from words to other signals, possibly with a different understanding of human interactions.
The film presentation will be followed by a slide show about Elaine's photo-related work showing objects, installations and photography in almost chronological order. The slide show will be accompanied live by her voice talking associatively about her work. Her interest in the design and function of security booths in the city of Porto Alegre on one hand, and her slide projections of her photography onto houses in the street of Porto Alegre are two examples that stand out. They also show a very different aspect of her art: her concern with urban space and the interaction with people using installation, projections and photography.
The artist will also be present for Q&A after the show.
Curated by Klaus W. Eisenlohr.
Z-Bar - http://www.z-bar.de/