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d f the twenty-first century, it has become practical! . In the first deca e O • • • • • • y irnp d th gallery distnct of a maior city, or v1s1t a biennial t . ossibJ to walk aroun e b f k . . ‘ nenn. I e

. . h t eeing a large num er o artwor s consisting of irn 1a or art fa1fr, WI~ othue:e works, an image-sequence made in one mediurn~ges that move. 0 ten m 1 . . h b h . is tak . d t another: for ex e, 1t m1g t es ot in film, edited. _en up morconverte o . . , . f .

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h S DVD This ‘remediat10n is ac1 itate y digitalisat· gitaJ and thens own a · . ion Wh . . ‘ly transferred across different platforms-monitor p . ere the Image is easI . . , roiecti

TV I It · s largely the shift in the nature of remediation brought b 0 n screen, • I . . 1 f h , . a Out b digitalisation that justifies us m speaking current yo t rn_oving irnage’ rat y than film or video.2 Moving images today are not only ubiquitous, but also her infinitely transformable. . . . . .

Moving image is an art that 1mphes both time and a spatial _d1s~lay in the 11 This may involve the enlargement of the screen of proiection to a h ga ery. . . h w ole

wall from floor to ceiling, or drawing attent~on tot e screen as an object, for exle by tilting it, or by em~loying ~ultiple screens. A bodi~y relation to the image may be established that is very different from that expenenced by the spectator of cinema fixed to their seat and t~ken out of thems~l~e_s,_identifying with the image and engrossed by the narrative. Contrary poss1b1hties are opened up by moving image installation: the freedom to move around the space rnay enable a more detached and inquisitive attitude towards the apparatus, or alternatively the multiplication of screens may induce an absorption into a panoramic spectacle. At stake in much moving image work is the possibility of a critical relation in a thoroughly mediated corporate global culture. The history of moving image art has in part been one of increasingly portable and accessible technology, to which has been added, through the internet, widely available means of distribution to a potentially vast audience. These open up counter-possibilities to the more repressive, controlling and commodifying aspects of global media.

Work using moving image since the 199Os has been extremely diverse-the result of a confluence of sources, varied technical possibilities, and different contexts of production – and this essay can only include a very limited and inevitably partial selection of the art that has been produced since the 1990s and deserves consideration. The rationale for the selection here situates the artists in relation to two key influences on moving image work: on the one hand, bodily performance in front of the camera, and on the other, cinema in its mainstream, avant-garde and experimental forms. In addition, TV has provided a model both of a different temporality- the illusion of immediacy and real time – and the possibility of a relation to a wider audience- a possibility that has been realised by the internet, although at the cost of audience fragmentation. 3 The confluence of these factors has set the parameters of embodiment and disembodiment, presence and absence, relation to mass culture and intimate experience, within which subsequent work in moving image has continued to develop, while taking new directions as the technological and_cultural context changes.

Retrospect on cinema

An im_portant gesture of’moving image’ art was to recontextualise cinema. In taking the projected image into the space of the gallery, moving image has d ~eturned to

the early ‘cinema of attractions’: 4 the viewer is not physically fixe

in pl~c~ by a seat, and may therefore respond emotionally and directly, like the VISI_to’. to_ an attraction in a fairground booth before the advent of the e

more_ ~isciplinary set-up of the auditorium. While in a sense returning to th rt conditions of displa t th . . . . ·mage a 1 . Ya e ongin of cmema contemporary movmg i . d so~n~rod_uce~ a new dimension of reflexivi~y because of the frame provide

Y t e institution of art and its history . h The return to ea 1 · . . · 86 wh


r Y cinema is evident in Stan Douglas’s Ouverture I9 ‘



Stan Douglas Still of Nathanael from Der Sandmann (The Sandman) 1995 16mm film loop installation for two optical sound projectors

rr Rodney Graham VexaNon Island 1997 Vi deo mstallahon (35mm fil m transferred to DVD), sound

consists of a six-minute loop made up of sequences of archival footag · f 8 d f · · e, made by the Edison Company rom 1 99 an 1901, o a tram Journey through th R

. . d k f . e ocky Moun tams, accompanied by a soun trac o reworked readings from the O e . of Marcel Proust’s novel cycle In Search of Lost Time(r9r3-27). The linear t p nin g

. . ~n journey-co-extensive with the emergence of film as the registration of th 1. · · ‘ d b h 1 · e !near vector of t1me-1s trans,orme y t e oop mto a cycle of repetition which· ‘ in turn is shadowed by our knowledge that Proust’s work has a circular structure, endi as the narrator begins to write the novel. The loop thus simultaneously expose;g (through its negation oflinearity) and traps (though its repetition) an unrealised utopian possibility-the ‘promise of happiness’ encapsulated in Proustian involuntary memory.5 The connection of the loop with the memory of a stall ed utopianism is more explicit in The Sandman 1995. The work was made at the former UFA studios, a centre for German film production in the 1920s. The location, in Bagelsberg near Potsdam, is also where many Schrebergiirten or allotments are to be found. Douglas’s film comprises two 360-degree pans through allotments that were reconstructed in the studio to show, in th e first instance, how such a garden might have looked twenty years previously, and in the second, its transformation into a building site for new housing, as was the case with many of the gardens at that time. In both, an old man is shown worki ng on a mechanical contraption. The two pans are combined in a single projection, with a seam down the centre, so that at first the past appears to emerge from and replace the present scene, while later the present emerges from and replace s th e past. On the soundtrack, three voices read from adapted versions of the letters that open E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, TheSandman(1817), the tale of a man who throws sand into and steals the eyes of children who are not asleep, which Freud discusses in terms of the return of the repressed childhood memory of the fear of castration. In Douglas’s film the two loops with the seam between them, each seemingly erasing the other, create an experience of the present moment divid ed between an uncanny return of the repressed and progress stalled in a ruin of redevelopment.

Re-siting cinema in the gallery in front of an audience with different expectations opens up the possibility of transforming its normally linear narrative trajectory, in particular through the use of the loop. The implications of thi s for the transformation of moving image’s relation to time and space is ex plored by Rodney Graham in his ‘costume film’ Vexation Island 1997 and th e two others that follow it to form a trilogy: How I Became a Ramblin’ Man 1999 and City Self/Country Self 2000. All three films are conditioned by the form that gallery display most often imposes on the moving image: the loop-that is, the st ructu;s of rec urrence – while pondering an event that is both conditioned by and exc ee

. . a~ repetition. On a sandy shore a man dressed in eighteenth-century costume, who · d barrel. we guess 1s a castaway, is lying, apparently asleep, with his hea on a . Vexatron Island begins with a parrot perched on another barrel calling for him_ t k h’ h1J11 0 wa e up. He wakes, sees a tree with coconuts shakes it one falls and

115 h h ‘ ‘ · d an,

o n t e_ ead, he falls back … and the film repeats itself. Three ‘flows’ – bH ‘m ‘.ree – i~tersect, and an event (what th e Classical atom is ts called a c/inamen or d1vers1on’)isge t d Th’ . . . · ns – th e . nera e . 1s event can give nse to many mterpretatio failure of humanity to dominate nature, a reworking of the story of Robin soil ·11 Crusoe orad1sru 1· f h 1. . {ilm – but

1 h ‘ . P Ono t e meantyofnarrativeintheadventure 1 .

1 c end· part!~ because of its circular st ructure and rep e tition, the viewer is co nfro nted with an enigma. . c

Returningtoth fi • sofP1err H h e un mished business of cinema is one of the concern h oiCC ofingo c. Wlnh~lanche Neige Lucie 1997, Lucie Dol e ne, who provided the Frenc_ ,~dr,1′

w lle m th e 19 D’ . · cc vie (s d

3 7 1sn ey animation sings ‘Un ,·our mon pnn o rn e ay rn · · ‘ I

app ears a y pldnncc will come) in a high, girlish tone, while on sere_ en 5 1e

s an o er worn d 11 • D’sneY an, an le s th e story of h er lawsuit against 1


Pierre Huyghe The Third Memory 1999 Double projection, beta digital, video on monitor, sound

. . h F h ersion of Snow White. claiming the rights for the use of her voice m t e renc v . . . If here Huyghe can be seen to foreground a forgotten act of explmtatr~n m fil

· h t · 1·neofamov1e The m popular culture, in L’ellipse 1998, he fills a gap mt e 1me 1 . · ‘fills in’ a jump-cut in Wim Wenders’s movie The American Fnend 1977· Some twenty years after the movie was made, Bruno Ganz, who plays the cent~al protagonist in Wenders’s film, walks from one location to another, c~oss~ng a bridge over the Seine in the district ofBeaugrenelle, which was b~gr1:mng to be rebuilt when the movie was shot. Apparently there to restore contmmty, the ellipse takes the form of a return that marks the difference between the real and the fictional, where it is the former rather than the latter that becomes spectral: Ganz is like a ghost revisiting his past, completing something that was left incomplete. Huyghe’s interest in restitution continues in The Third Memory 2000, where John Woytowicz restages the robbery with hostage-taking that he committed in 1972, which was the source for the movie Dog Day Afternoon 1975, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino as Woytowicz. Now Woytowicz can tell his story, as Dolene told hers. This is not a remake, but a reconstruction -and if reconstructing a crime, would this crime be Woytowicz’s attempted bank robbery, the slaying of his gay partner by the police, or the exploitation of his story by Lumet? Huyghe’s installation stages memory not as a true representation of the past ‘as it was’, which in any case could only be correlated with another representation, but rather as a reconstruction that opens up an area of dispute. Two recent projects combine the insertion of fictions into reality with an interest in the relation between art and festivals or holidays, celebrations that are also interventions in the economy of time. Streamside Day Follies 2003, a film shown as part of an installation with moving walls at Dia Center for the Arts, New York, invents a festival for the inauguration of a new suburban housing development; A Journey that Wasn’t 2005, in which the film relates to an installation and a multi-media performance celebrating a voyage to an Antarctic island inhabited by a previously undiscovered (and, outside the parameters of the film, purely mythical) albino penguin. In both cases, moving image projection only forms one element of a larger, open-ended project, whilst also functioning to create effects rather than to represent reality.

At a cinema the audience cannot control the time of the film, which becomes possible once film is watched as video or DVD. This new relation to the medium is a condition inhabited by the work of Douglas Gordon. For 24 Hour Psycho

19 Gordon removed the sound from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho 196o, and slowed if 3′ down so that the shower sequence, for exle, lasts approximately half a h Each moment of the film, including those that are marginal to the core n ?ur.

. . . narrative becomes monumental. The poss1b1hty of slowing the film to such an e t t ‘ depends entirely on the remediation of film through video. Another e x en

1 h k . f . . G d , h x e of t e rewor mg o cmema 1s or on st ree-screen projection De,·a-vu h” . f . 2000, w ich involves the trans er onto VIdeo and subsequent projection onto th

ree screens


Douglas Gordon Mark Lewis 24 Hour Psycho 1993 Algonquin Park, Early Video installation, March 2002 Royal Scottish Academy, 35mm film transferred Edinburgh 2007 to DVD, silent

ofRudolph Mate’s 1949- 50 film noir D.O.A. (Dead OnArriva0, where the fi projection is at twenty-five frames per second, and the third at twenty-thr rSl frames per second, the middle one being at the ‘normal’ speed of twenty/e f d

,, fil . h . our rames per secon . Mates m opens wit a man reportmg a murder at a J’ station: he has been poisoned, and in the time before the poison takes eff~c~ ice has managed to kill the man who poisoned him, so he is both murdered and murderer, subject and object of his own story-in a more extreme version of what had become possible for the everyday viewer of a film on video, Gordon h changed the ‘timings’ of a film that is itself about time and suspense. as

An analysis of the rhetoric and syntax of cinema is the starting point for the work of Mark Lewis. Take, for exle, the zoom combined with tracking shot which penetrates the broken window of an old office to close in on a spinning to in North Circulariooo; or his Jay’s Garden, Malibu 2001 with its long, steady-c shots along the winding paths of a landscaped garden in California, where every so often actors from porn films are encountered, fully clothed, as if enjoying a break from their work. One scene with glass grapes gives a clue to the artificiality of this Bacchic idyll, a mnemonic of painting’s mythological portrayals of ideal scenes. If Jay’s Garden is an attempt to outbid painting- to do as a temporal art what a static art cannot, two later works, shot in the Canadian wilderness of Algonquin Park were, rather, an attempt to slow film down to the extent that it might sustain the intense scrutiny that has seemed painting’s right, while at the same time creating an event of disclosure that takes place between image and viewer, and that requires time. Algonquin Park, Early March 2002 begins with the screen filled with white light which the reverse zoom reveals to be ice, in a bay fringed by pine trees, on which we see skaters, the whole scene recalling Pieter Breu gel the Eider’s Hunters in the Snow 1565. Algonquin Park, September2001 shows a canoe being paddled across the frame in front of what looks like an island in the fog, which only lifts at the end. The Algonquin Park films re-explore the tradition oflandscape using the possibilities of zoom and camera movement offered by the movie camera in order to both to show the role of time in the desire to see, and bring the intensity of attention to the structure of what is seen that is the norm in the reception of the art of the still image to moving images.

Having made political films on aspects of policing in the black British experience during the 1980s, Isaac Julien found his form with Lookingfor Langston 1989, a film about the black, gay American poet Langston Hughes which included imagined scenes from a Harlem speakeasy, scenes set in 1980s London, fantas y sequences, and the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe. Julien subsequently d moved from work that grew out of the tradition of experimental filmmakin~ an was intended to be shown in cinemas, to sumptuous moving image insta!latJOn.


Isaac Jul· ien and Sunil Gupta Looking for L H angston-1 image Nair 1989 .

mm film, sound

Sharon Lockhart Tea tro Amazonas 1999 35mm film , sound

Most of his installations have the underlying narrative of a joumey: the t cowboys in The Long Road to Mazatlan 1999; the young man whojourn Wo the Carribean to the UK and back in Paradise Orneros 2002; the black weys #038;oni

0 111.an · True North 2004, who stands for _the black explorer Matthew Henson Who 1n accompanied the explorer Admiral Robert Peary to the North Pole in

1 has only recently been credited with being the Pole ‘s co-discoverer. Ali9t

0h9• and

. h . . db ese installations are multi-screen – a tee mque p10neere y the filmmak . . er Ab 1 Gance in Napoleon 1927-and by panoram1cally extendmg the image e . , or crear

parallels and cross-overs, :~plor~ co~plex s~atial and temporal relationshi 1ng between images with the Ir 1mphcat10ns of history, geography and othe Ps

. fb h . d . rness Another approach to the history o ot cmema an Video is taken b C · von Wedemeyer in works which draw attention to their own making. I~ leniens Occupation 2002 we are shown a film crew and a number of extras in a field floodlights at night, who are being directed by a production manager dre un?er

‘f . 11· . h ssed in a grey anorak that looks like a um arm, s1gna mg m ways t at do not enf 1 seem to be understood by the extras. The whole thing appears rather poin;e Y

something between a rock festival and the behaviour of the crowd in the fi]ess, Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977. Soundtrack music begins to play as tt camera passes through the crowd; tracks are laid down for a dolly shot; whit: lines are painted on the grass as if for some sporting event; the extras form a square within the lines, and allow themselves to be organised according to thes dispositions. After condensing in a group, the extras suddenly scatter to dramar e music as the lights are knocked over and extinguished, which concludes the fil ic Accompanying the large project~on is a video on a moni:or about the making


the film, so a film about the makmg of a film about makmg a film which reverses the sequence by beginning with the scatter. On reflection, it is possible to see the ‘action’ as linking the hierarchical and disciplinary structure of cinema, including Hollywood-with its arrangement of bodies – to the disposition of troops and followers in fascist propaganda film (think ofLeni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will r 934), where the scattering of Wedermeyer’s extras might be understood as the contrary assertion of a diverse multitude.

Tableaux of time and the untimely If time can be technologically mediated, its experience is also profoundly affected by social and cultural factors. Sharon Lockhart’s film NO 2003 shows husband and wife farmers in Ta pan evenly distributing piles of mulch and then spreading it on a field, which appears to be square. Filmed from a fixed viewpoint in a single long shot with a 16mm camera, it becomes clear, on reflection, that the physical structure of the field is organised for the point-of-view of the camera. The


“18oean rac1 efJran ce at Sea II o,saPP de Guerison) t1oyage 1997 . namorphic film , 16mm~ · 50und

apparently ‘real’ is a spatio-temporal illusion created for the viewer, and the Japanese subject matter shows up the subject-centred perspective as a culturally specific Western mode. With her Teatro Amazonas 1999, we are presented with a twenty-nine-minute unedited take, shot from the stage, of a local audience in the theatre in Mana us, Brazil, which was the focus of Werner Herzog’s film Fitzcarraldo 1982 . They are listening to a live performance of a Minimalist choral work by Becky Allen, sung by the Choral do Amazonas, who are out of sight of the audience in the pit, and which, as it gradually reduces to silence, is replaced by the sounds of the audience of 308 people, who are a statistical sle of the population ofManaus. The film enacts a reversal of the traditional relationship of spectacle to audience, of director to performers, and of international art to local representation. Another moving image work that ‘measures’ time within a specific geographical and cultural context is Francis Alys’s Zocalo 1999, where the flagpole in the square of that name in Mexico City functions like a sundial during the twelve-hour duration of the video’s running time – the people who form a line sheltering from the sun become inadvertent performers in the public space that is also measured by the real time of the rotating shadow, implying an intersection of the historical memory embodied in the city square with the cosmic time measured by this impromptu sundial. The memory of the calendrical systems of native peoples and their accompanying rituals meets the traditional function of the town square as the locus of a clock from which time may be synchronised.

It is striking how much of the best recent moving image work draws on models that were established in the 1960s and 1970s, and technology that is obsolete. Robert Smithson’s film Spiral Jetty 1970, about the building of his earthwork, was very influential, offering a multi-layered model of time that was simultaneously mythic, geological, and scientific. Tacita Dean draws the consequences of Smithson’s emphasis on entropy and time’s irreversibility: that the repetitive structure of moving image work is actually related to loss. Her films -and here the celluloid medium as an indexical registering of time, in all its fragility, is essential – become acts of salvage. In many ofTacita Dean’s films, the concern with documenting something combines with a sense of the relation between what is being filmed and the historical situation of the medium. In Disappearance at Sea II 1997, Dean used the rotating l of a lighthouse as a platform from which to film. This recalls the way Michael Snow had a mechanism constructed for one of his films in order to achieve 3 60-degree pans in a mountain wilderness near Quebec for La Region Centra/e 1970. Both works share a sense of desolation, but whereas for Snow this revealed a way of seeing that is specific to the camera, for Dean it connected both with the idea of the lighthouse as something that protects the sailor, and a sense of searching the far horizon for someone lost. We could see Tacita Dean’s work performing a double act of salvage: on the material, and on the medium. The beached sailboat on the island of Cayman Brae of Donald Crowhurst, a child of colonialism and quixotic yachtsman who had faked his


Matthew Buckingham A Man of the Cro wd 2003 16mm film installation

part in a round-the-world sailing competition and committed suicide by jum . off his boat holding the chronometer, was the subject ofDean’s film Teignmou~~n g Electron 2000. In Fernsehturm 2001, which was shot in the rotating restaurant of the old East Berlin TV tower, a past vision of a future is presented by Dean in the combination of a sunset panorama and the conviviality of the diners accompanied by pop tunes on an old synthesizer. In each case, film is associated with the analog measurement of time and inscribed with its own temporal and physical fragility as a medium at a moment in history when it is being displaced by the digital.

The position of the observer is destabilised and fragmented in the urban labyrinth of Matthew Buckingham’s film installation A Man of the Crowd 2003 , based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe that influenced Baudelaire’s account of modern, urban beauty in his essay ‘The Painter of Modern Life’.6 Buckingham has a r 6mm film projecting through an opening in the gallery wall onto a freestanding two-way mirror in the centre of the space, which both reflects and doubles the image that is also seen on the further wall. The glass reflects the viewer’s image (a device borrowed from Dan Graham’s installation rooms using two-way mirrors and time-delay), thus achieving the aim of much moving image installation, which is to physically implicate the viewer in ways that are impossible in the cinema auditorium. This set-up also reflects the topol ogy of the film itself: as the anonymous latter-day man of the crowd is followed through the streets- in this instance, Vienna -we are shown reflections in cafe and store windows, creating a mise-en-abfme between the content of the film and the mirror-installation.

Stillness in movement and movement in stillness . . trast Movement, when it concerns the image, is necessarily experienced lil its co~icall y. with stillness, a contrast mediated by technologies that have changed h1st?rnply

. . . . rather than s1 Once it became possible to reproduce movement m images- . h meaning reflect it in a mirror or produce it ephemerally with optical devices~~ : ges that of stillness in an image changed forever. In a sense, the emergen_ce 0b’.mts and still

· f · obile o iec move in a fine art context that had been the provmce o 1mm. ovesisa na images reversed the situation.7 Whereas for cinema, that the im~~e :plicitly priori condition, once the moving image is placed in the gallery it is and

. . sculpture, experienced in relation to art that does not move: pamtmg, being taken

• f · h · e ratherthan . photography. The meanmg o movement mt e imag_ , . to qu esuon for granted as ubiquitous in everyday life, is once agam thrown lil


David Claerbout Vietnam, 1967, near Due Pho (Reconstruction after H1romishi Mine) 2001 Digita l video, silent

If the moving image, in particular in film which comprises individual, still photograms, mementos of an absent, past moment which are made to move through the physiological effect of the after-image, conveys a sense of a re-animation, conversely effects of stillness within movement-whether freeze-frame, the filming of a still image, or some other form of stoppage – are often used to signify memory or death. 8 In Untitled: Philippe VACHER r99o, James Coleman extended a four-second clip of the eponymous French actor’s portrayal of a doctor who seems to be keeling over onto his instruments until he turns to look at the viewer, into a 3 5mm film lasting seventeen minutes. The film gradually transforms from colour into black-and-white, as if reversing the history of cinema in order to reflect on film’s role as the embalmer of time. 9 It is as if the slowing of the film is an attempt to discern the invisible: for exle, the moment of transition from life to death in the becoming of each image, or a secret, like a murder-recalling the photographer’s enlargements of his prints in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up 1966 in order to try to detect whether a murder has taken place in a park where he happened to be photographing. Coleman’s film is projected as a large image with a long throw- the scale of an auditorium projection – but in a gallery space where the viewer may walk up to the image and examine it closely, becoming aware of his or her own body in the space of the installation in relation to a clip which concerns precisely the medical gaze and the emergence of a certain relation between the body, knowledge, and power. 10

The ontology of the image shifts in the transition from the grain of indexical celluloid to the digital pixel. David Claerbout uses the digital, supplemented by sound and silence, to condense multiple temporalities within single images. The most ‘cinematic’ of his works is probably Bordeaux Piece 2004, which presents

_ a narrative of Oedipal rivalry, but the narrative is repeated, which seems to empty it, and in the course of the repetitions the viewer gradually becomes aware of the continuous change from day into evening into night (a process that takes about fourteen hours). When the viewer puts on the headphones, the dialogue becomes inaudible, but birdsong can be heard: behind the repetitions of a scenario of desire and Oedipal rivalry is the diurnal and seasonal time of nature. Elsewhere Claerbout works at the level of the pixel to introduce stillness into a moving image: in Vietnam, r967, near Due Pho (Reconstruction after Hiromishi Mine) 2001, the exploded plane is frozen in a fast snapshot as the wind-touched foliage moves

. gently and the light changes (although we should remember that a still image in video or DVD is actually moving). Rocking Chair 2003 comprises a two-sided projection: as the viewer enters a darkened room, he sees a black-and-white image of a woman sitting on a sunny porch, her eyes in the shade, gently rocking as if resting yet marking time; walking past the screen the viewer sees her from behind, and she stops rocking and turns slightly, as if to listen. In this encounter


11111 between the viewer’s reality and the virtual image, the gulfbetwe felt all the more strongly. In Shadow Piece 2005, the point of view. en t~ern is

. . . k’ h h . IS POSiti in side a modernist bmldmg, loo mg out t roug Its glass wall and d 0 nect approach the building and try to enter, but the door is locked-on! ~o~; People is able to pass inside, as if to remind us that we, too, are excluded f/ t eir shact01V

h 1 . . . orn the· which is a realm of shades, g ost Y re-appant10ns. Sections of a Hap 1tnage . d ‘d . . ul . 1 PY Marne is a single-channel proJecte v1 eo compnsmg m tip e ‘still’ shot fr nt i

007 points of view of a single moment in the life of a Chinese family Ins om various surrounded by social housing a basketball has been thrown int~ th: s~uare suspended: this single moment is spatially fragmented and laid out i an anct hangs time, and so the fleeting moment of familial happiness becomes mo; sequential

. . d . . b urnenta] and even suggests a memento man, accompame as 1t 1s y the generic . , piano music that might be applied to a family video. ‘soothing

Moving image is capable of both speeding time up and slowing it do Using a fixed viewpoint and an uninterrupted take, Jeroen de Rijke and wn. Willem de Rooij’s Ban tar Ge bang 2000 shows the transformation brought b the coming of day to a walled shantytown built on a rubbish dump near ,a{ It is a ravishingly beautiful film, but this response is unsettled by the view ~rta. knowledge of the circumstances in which people there have to live and w:;: ?ne might consider t~is reflecti_on on context to have been extended to the fiirn itself when the ten-mmute vers10n was reduced to a three-minute ‘trailer’ for Art Basel 2000, as if it became an advertisement for itself. In Untitled

2001, the

artists again exploit the rich detail produced by a static shot of a slowly-chan in distant scene. This time, the setting is a graveyard, in which people appear, Jth g the city ofTakarta in the background. The graveyard is the burial place of the wife of Indonesia’s first President, which might be the reason for its preservation amid rant development-this goes to show how the viewer’s experience of a representation of a place is affected by their knowledge, or ignorance, of its history and politics.

The temporality of video – the possibility of a continuous recording of the present which may appear simultaneously with itself-distinguishes it from cinema. This is exemplified by Dan Graham’s time-delay video installations of the mid-197os, also using two-way mirrors. The aspect of surveillance- that video can just be left running or triggered by sound or movement- is taken up by Bruce Nauman in his installations, Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage), shown at Dia Beacon in 2002, and Mapping the Studio II with color shift,jlip flop, 8-jlipljlop (Far Chance John Cage) 2001, both of which include video projections shot in the studio at night (Nauman just left the camera running with a motion sensor on) as well as multiple audio tracks of ambient sound. In a reworking of the genre of’artist’s studio’ in which in this case the artist is absent, we can see on multiple screens and hear the infestation of mice, his cat, the movement of moths. This kind of untouched presentation of a segment of the world, when done in the context of an art installation, raises questions about meaning in such a way that the.

. . erience 1t as presentat10n becomes simultaneously ‘full’ or replete (we try to exp . n . . . h , Id . . d . d’ . ‘t ·s a representatIO 1t 1s mt e now’ as we wou a pamtmg) an ’empt1e smce 1 1 . . of something that is not present. We necessarily ask why the image _is b~ngit presented in this context, what its meaning might be. It is at this pomt t at becomes allegorical.

Traces and dreams of history I

le artists . . . . · g0~~ · 1 At a time of rapid social and technological transformat10n on a . – bothaS1

have used the possibilitie_s of the _mo~ng ima~e to engage with ~~~~:space and relates to personal narrative, subjective expenence and_fan~asy, ork Felix ni geography, as well as time. In William Kentridge’s movrng image wh wail in a Exile 1994, drawings fly out of a suitcase and attach themselves tot e


l’lilliam Kentridge Ubu Tells the Truth 1997 35rnrn fil m transferred to video, laser disc, DVD: an1rn 1· a 10n, drawing, photography, sound and docu rnentary film. Based on the 1996 pla Ubu and the Truth y Cornrniss · b Th ion Y Handstring

eatre Company,

configuration that · 1 . • · M 1 . , precise Y resembles the way paintings were hung m Kas1mu a ev1ch s ‘Last Futu · t E h’b • . . . ah . . ns x 1 1t10no.rn’mPetrogradin1915.Kentndgecreates G ybrid art, drawmg on the history of painting- Francisco Goya, Max Beckmann,

erge Gr~sz – and the graphic tradition, especially William Hogarth, theatre, an . earl~ cmema. And in fact, the artist came to moving image art primarily from actmg, ~uecti~g and set design for the theatre, particularly a hybrid form of theatre m:ludmg puppets and moving image projection. In Johannesburg: 2nd Greatest City After Paris 1989, the artist introduced the industrialist and financier Soho Ekstein and his younger, artist-intellectual double, Felix Teitelbaum: alter-egos, but with an Oedipal father-son relation also implied- the former w_as based on a photograph of Kentridge’s grandfather, and the latter resembled him~elf. Here and in subsequent works, Kentridge established a highly ambivalent position from which to speak, that of the South African Jewish co~munity, who are simultaneously exploiters and defenders of the black South Afncan population. In a history-which stretches from the Holocaust to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up in 1995, and beyond-where bearing witness has become a public, political act, as reflected in his Ubu Tells the Truth I 997, Kentridge has developed an art using animation which plays on the relation between the trace and its erasure. The film becomes the memory of the drawing, which in the new stage replaces the old one , save for the traces of the erasure of the previous marks. The imperfection of the erasure is essential to Kentridge’s art, and indeed distinguishes is from the utopian tabula rasa of the early Modernism on which he draws. While the particular representations of memory are subject to dispute, common to all Kentridge’s work is his incorporation of the traces of the erasure of the trace, in other words, not just remembrance, but the memory of forgetting and the effacement of the oppressed.

With Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions 2004, Kara Walker turned to film as a development of her previous practice, in which she used painted silhouettes to present a phantasmatic history of slavery and sexual exploitation in America. The cut-outs she used for the film placed it between animation and shadow-puppetry. It begins with the depiction of a black female effigy, followed by the appearance of a dreadlocked black female protagonist who performs an inversion of history by enslaving white men, and ends with the screen filled by the whiteness of the fluid produced by the fellatio she performs on the lynched body of the leader of the white men. As if Walker were to American slavery what the Marquis de Sade was to the French Revolution,



Harun Farocki Eye/Machine Ill 2003 Double-screen video, sound

she shows history to be inseparable from the effects of sexual desire and the repetitive rituals of perverse pleasure.

Historical memory and collective trauma is also the subject of work by T · h h · h d “fi · 1· ra ce Moffatt which she approaches wit e1g tene art1 c1a 1ty and a stylised Y

‘ · d” h h N. C I ‘ gener” mode of presentation. In films mclu mg t es arts ice o oured Girls 198 . 1c Cries: A Rural Tragedy_ 1989 ~nd the full length Be~eu’.l 1993, she employs s:c~’9ht devices as tableaux with pamted backdrops as an art treatment of popular culture that throws into question both objectifying representations of the Australian aboriginal people and the complicity of the viewer as a passive w·

. h 1 f 1 d . llness to atrocity and injustice. The context 1st e strugg e or an nghts, and retri 1 f b . . 1 h”ld f h · eva of the history of the forced removal o A ongma c 1 ren rom t err families.

Moffatt equally uses the devices of avant-garde film -such as sound that com b 1

. es from somewhere other than the i1:1age – _to su vert m~ar narrative, allowing the interweaving of past and present, mcludmg the hauntmg of the present by the past, and the projection of an alternative future in which injustice can be held to account. Like those of Kara Walker, Moffatt’s films deal with their troubling subjects with what Surrealist Andre Breton called ‘black humour’: the disruption -through excessive, grotesque and perverse pleasure-of dominant discourse.11

For filmmaker Harun Farocki, since the mid-r 990s the museum installation has provided a site for reflection ori. the contemporary machines of vision as historic modes of visualisation, both as a means of power and control, and as opportunities for knowledge. Ich glaubte, Gefangene zu sehen (l thought I saw Prisoners) 2001 shows on a projection wardens shooting quarrelling prisoners in a yard, where the field of fire and of surveillance coincide. The double projections of the Eye/Machine trilogy 2001-3 deal with the loss of distinction between the photographed and the computer-simulated in the ‘operational’ images produced by missiles and other equipment in the context of the first Gulf War of 1991, and therefore marks the moment when the human eye is denied its role as a historical witness. Farocki’s installations could be understood as an extension of montage – indeed the Eisensteinian dialectical montage – from the relation between shots or images in the film to the combination of simultaneity and sequence in his double projections. A different kind of work is Deep Play 2007, shown at Documenta I 2, where Farocki presented the final of the FIFA World Cup soccer match between France and Italy being converted into a video-game over twelve screens – including commentary, game analysis and player statistics – so that viewers could witness the representation becoming a simulation.

The moving image engrosses the viewer in a spectatorial present in a way that is different from a still photograph, which is more like a relic of a past present – the moving image, whether in film or video, doesn’t so much interrupt the time of the viewer, as take it over.12 How then to indicate ‘pastness’ in the moving image? One way is through content – costumes, sets and so on; another is through obsolescence in the medium -insisting on celluloid for exle, and putting the projector in the room with the viewer, or by retaining that same quality of im age but contained within a later technology. But neither of these really prevents the viewer from creating a present of the action in the image through a process of self-insertion into the image-space. In Third Generation (Ascher Family) 2oo~ Ma rk Wallinger draws on both of these aspects, and adds a third, whereby reces~i ve framing becomes an analogue for distance in the past, while at the same ume d . . h . h” h film Home rawmg attent10n tot e context m which the viewer is watc mg t e · • h

. f . . the r eW IS movies o a Jewish family, probably from the 1930s, are being shown m . . ge M B 1. . . . h f ·1 Th!S ,ma useum, er m. We see v1s1tors walkmg past the images oft e ami Y· d · · d” h thesoun 1s proJecte ma neutral space, which may be a studio, where we ear of footsteps . Finally, Wallinger’s film is projected onto a screen in the gallery. _ Thus the spatial recession of frames encapsulates three generations of imat we are seeing a film of a film of a film, as well as a remediation ofSuper-S fi m


Wal< Wa lli nger j ,•::, 2002

c :· :- ‘-‘ 2 · Cathedra l .. ,

into DVD. Wallinger’s installation simultaneously makes us feel the pastness of the family ‘s films – and the loss inscribed in that history-while also making it possible to see what is normally lost in the viewing of a film, namely the context in which that viewing is taking place.

In Angel 1997 Wallinger ran time in reverse: he filmed himself performing as a blind preacher apparently walking down an escalator running upwards. The ‘preacher’ can just be made out saying the first words of the gospel of St fohn, ‘In the beginning was the word .. .’, which Wallinger recorded himself saying backwards (recalling Gary Hill’s film Why Do Things Get in a Muddle? [Come on Petunia] 1984), until finally he ascends backwards up the escalator at Angel underground station, to the sound of Handel’s 1727 coronation anthem Zadok the Priest. In this and other works, Wallinger seems to be attempting to prise apart the exploitation of religious representations and the need to which religion responds. (In fact, he literally effaces such representations in Via Dolorosa 2002, where he places a black square in the centre of the frame of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1975 TV film Jesus of Nazareth, making the representation itself into a frame for what is not represented.) An analogue for this need is found in Threshold to the Kingdom 2000, for which Wallinger simply placed the camera facing the swing door of the arrivals gate at one of London’s airports, showing the visitors and home-comers in slow motion to the sound of Allegri’s Miserere, a setting of the s 1st psalm (‘Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness/In your compassion blot out my offence’), which for centuries was sung only in the Sistine Chapel. The threshold to paradise is evoked in one of modernity’s ‘non-places’, a gateway policed by immigration officials rather than angels.


r I I

Joshua Mosley Lindbergh an d the Trans-Ra/Jona/ B oy 1997 Com puter an imation and 16mm fil m, sound

Chen Chieh -jen uses long takes and reconstructions on site to create ‘dialectical images’ of a suspended history, opening up the past as a site of and unfinished business . In Factory 2003, a silent film shot on 16mm and llleniory transferred to DVD, textile workers in Taiwan return to the abandoned fa t where they had worked until the owner closed it down without paying c ory retirement or severance, a re sult of global capital’s continual search for cheap labour. Passages showing the gestures and move~ents of ~he workers-their bodily memory of another time made present agam – are mtercut with footage from their protest. In The Route 2006, Chen made a 3 5mm film transferred to DVD ofa protest that never took place at the Port of Kaohsiung, where the cargo sh ·

h . h ,,… . lp Neptune Jade was unloaded in 1995. At t e time, t e 1a1wanese dockers had not known that the ship had been forced to seek another port as a result of a dockworkers’ strike at Liverpool and that it had been turned away by dockers across the world. The film thus reconstructs a past that never happened as a cal] for solidarity today. In another film, Lingchi: Echoes of a Historical Photograph

2002 shot in r 6mm and transferred to DVD to make a three-channel projection, Chen’ makes a deliberately inaccurate reconstruction of Lingchi, a form of Chinese torture which involves the drugging and gradual dismemberment of its victim, which can be seen here as a harbinger of the dismembering and pain inflicted by modernity. In his work, documentary is transformed into the phantasmagoria of modernity and an exploration of alternative histories.

Different historical moments are brought together in the films of Yang Fudong. The five-part cycle Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest 2003-7 combines references to the ancient stories of’The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove’ from the Wei and Jin dynasties of China with a setting in the 1950s and 1960s, when the role of intellectuals came into question. By taking a historical distance, the series shows the marginalisation of intellectuals -and, by implication, critical and political art – in the current epoch of globalisation and rapid economic development in China. The setting moves from the famous Yellow Mountain to city life in Shanghai, where the protagonists live an isolated life with little connection to their surroundings. They then move to the southwest of China, attempting to become involved with nature, before moving on in the next film to the isolation of a fishing island. Finally they return to the city to become a part of its life. From a Western perspective, the cycle appears to deal wi th the relation of the aesthetic – including the films’ own dated beauty- to modernization, while at the same time including references which would only be evident to viewers conversant with the Chinese historical and cultural context. Yang Fudong’s cycle is in effect traditional cinema presented in the black box of the gallery-while using the international art world as a way to get his work circulated, he reflects on the rol e of the artist in society.

In both mainstream cinema and artists’ moving image, animation has increasingly become a feature, both when it is evident and when it is not. For artists , animation provides new ways of presenting narrative and expl~ring a subjective relation to history. History is related to fantastic narrative m the

1 ,5 works of Joshua Mosley, which combine film with computer animation. Mos ey

Lindbergh 00

and the Trans-Rational Boy 1998 is about a child crossing the ocean i~ a sm~ll boa~, power~d by large mice in a treadmill, ~v~r wh!ch an airpl~n~a ge flies, as 1flookmg for him. The accompanying speech 1s man mvented la g and the atmosphere conveyed is that of infinite motion and of timelessness. The title hints at a darker side: that the boy might be the abducted son of -stop Charles Lindbergh, the man who in 1927 made the first single-handed ~on As the

. . d 1 . N . mpath1zer. transatlantic crossing, an was ater suspected ofbemg a azi sy much son rocks back and forth, urging the mice on, Mosley suggests he is ~ot so e are abducted as trying to flee the father. In this highly condensed narrativ~t~les), shown something we will never fully understand (regardless of the su


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