Descriptions & images of videos

RED: The Gendered Color in Frames


RAIN
Barbara Agreste (IT/UK)
Duration: 5 Min. 40 Sec.
Video and Sound by Barbara Agreste, 2006

Rain, Barbara AgresteIn this video the rain is made out of blood: a constant red rain falls on the vegetation of the town. Here the concept of violence is not expressed literally with scenes of cruelty, but it is symbolically represented by the never ending rain that exists through the all duration of the film. This video does not present a resolution to this sad scenario, there are only few moments in which the rain stops, and leaves violently shaken by the wind moving in slow motion inhabit the screen. The violence of the wind is here only a preface to another sad paragraph of rain.
Rain starts with bunch of dry leaves and brunches that fall on the floor to subsequently draw the attention to a garden where we see some blood dripping on the grass, and hear a sound of two single notes echoing; at every change of scene there is the falling of a red flower, a brunch or a seed making a sudden dry noise. This kind of object-falling represents a loss or a sacrifice, or even a sudden waking, that always brings us back to the observing of the red rain. This video does not present a narrative with a beginning, a middle point, and a decisive end, but it confronts us with the same action repeated over and over in different places, therefore ironically it is like a vinyl record playing always the same music.
The irony of the content adds to the well thought composition of the images, and to the dynamism of some shots: this beautiful imagery is contradicted, and although coexists with the discomfort of the viewing of blood.
The color red in the work Rain is the color of shock, sacrifice, death that won’t stop, that keeps occurring, constant sacrifice, and never ending violence falling on the earth as if it was rain from the sky. It is the color of blood, the same blood we have in our veins that flows like pain would flow, like a waste on the ground. The color red is an acknowledgment of devastation, it is profound shock, and it is something painful like a bleeding wound that we can’t escape from watching, without knowing what to do, or how to stop what we witness. (Barbara Agreste)

Barbara Agreste was born in Pescara in 1971, she first approached art-making in the Art Lyceum of Pescara, and after completing the classes she went to Milan to attend a scenography course at the Academy of Arts. At the age of 23 she moved to London where she began to work as a performer for the “Rawhead Dance Theatre”. In 1996 Barbara enrolled in “Film & Video Production” at the Kent Institute of Art & Design. After graduating in July 2000 she attended the MA course in Fine Art at the Central St. Martins College of Art & Design in London, where she graduated with a Master of Arts degree in September 2004. Since then she continued to create films and paintings, exhibiting and screening at various international film festivals. Barbara Agreste lives and works in London and Italy.
www.bambee.org


SUPER ULTRA
Ana Grobler (SLO)
Duration: 3 Min. 42 Sec.
Video (mute) by Ana Grobler, 2008

Super Ultra, Ana GroblerThe animation Super Ultra consists of digitally drawn images and words. The work is problematizing the mass media and their commercial adverts launched to the public. It focuses on the hidden messages in the adverts for hygienic menstruation pads. Super ultra is a word we hear in those adverts. Ultra thin hygienic pads are supposed to offer us a super ultra protection. Perhaps this is a protection from other people noticing that a woman has her period? Is the above-mentioned protection in fact protection for all the rest, so they could not notice the signs of menstruation, a part of a natural process in a woman’s body, which is, it seems, something shameful? Blood is represented with a blue liquid and words like menstruation, vagina, bleeding and discharge are carefully avoided in adverts. Is a woman’s body with its physiological processes really so repulsive and it needs to be altered and adjusted for the public to even stand to look at it? Are the commercial adverts sending a message that a real woman is unacceptable, that her image must be hidden and she excluded from the public life?
Warm colors dominate throughout the entire animation. The red color representing the menstrual blood is covering the most of the area. The Color red here means the Life and the Truth. Cooler color tones in the animation assist to disclose the contrast between the factual and the imposed; between menstrual blood and crystal clear blue liquid; between the genuine woman and a woman portrayed by commercial adverts. The ideal woman seems to be the one who is panicky checking, if her physical appearance is acceptable for her surroundings at all times. Without “the protection” she is not welcome there. Red color is a metaphor for the Truth, concealed by the mass media. Red represents the Life as it is, bloody and real. (Ana Grobler)

Ana Grobler is a Bachelor of Fine Arts, currently attending the Postgraduate study of Video Art at the Ljubljana’s Academy of Fine Arts and Design. For her artistic work she has been nominated twice in a role (Essl Award for the SouthEastern Europe) and presented her works in Museum of Modern Art and National Gallery in Ljubljana (2005, 2007). The Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana has awarded her with a Recognition for Special Achievements in Video Art in 2005 and with an Award for Special Achievements in Video Art in 2009. She is receiving a scholarship for her studies from the Ministry of Culture or Republic of Slovenia in Year 2009/10. The latest of her Exhibitions include: Annual exhibition of Academy of Fine Arts and Design Ljubljana, City Art Museum (Mestna galerija 1), Ljubljana, 2009; Exhibition Data and Objects, City Art Museum (Mestna galerija 2), Ljubljana, 2009-2010; smart exhibition Nodes (Infoart presents ArtNetLab), Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, class of prof. Bielicky, 2009; Exhibition Quoting contemporrarines, Universal Cube, Leipzig, Germany, 2009; Exhibition Die neuen Namen, the Kolonie Wedding event, Gallery GAD, Berlin, Germany, 2009; International Art Fair Immagine arte in fiera, Reggio nell Emilia, Italy, 2008.
Ana Grobler is also engaged in curatorial work. One of exhibitions she has curated was the documentary exhibition project “The women are coming!”, the first Feminist Exhibition of Slovenian Artworks, Project room SCCA, 5.- 8.3. 2009. She is a member of the visual program team of the International Feminist and Queer festival Red Dawns, member of the Station Diva (video archive of SCCA – Ljubljana / Centre for contemporary Arts -) project team and an assistant in the Alkatraz Gallery, Metelkova Mesto.
www2.arnes.si/~agrobl/ana_grobler/


FOLLY & ERROR
Michelle Handelman (USA)
Duration: 9 Min. 51 Sec.
Performers: Michelle Handelman and Tori Sparks
Video and Sound by Michelle Handelman, 2004/07

Folly & Error, Michelle Handelman“Folly & Error” is part of my project “This Delicate Monster”, a multi-media pop fable inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s 19th century collection of poems, “Les Fleurs du Mal”, an abject space where passion, obsession, fashion and ugliness collide. The entire project consists of several video works, photographs, costumes and live performances. “Folly & Error” is the only single-channel projection within the larger project. Baudelaire’s poems are driven by an obsession with dark female forces and the malevolent power of nature. He talks of the abyss, of excess, of twins. Folly & Error are one of these sets of twins Baudelaire refers to in his poems. Like youth and age, pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow, these twins are the great equation of life caught in an endless landscape of effort. This piece was made between the space of performance and pause…an afterthought, a break in time. It was one of those pieces that almost didn’t get made while on the road to another destination. Breathe in the pause.
Red is the blood that flows from me to you, within me. The room I write to you from is red. The twins in Folly & Error are wearing the same pair of underwear…a giant pair of red panties made for a giantess, now inhabited by two. Each occupies the space of a single leg. Like little nymphs bonded by their sex. Red is the color of life. The opposite of green, which of course is where these twins reside. (Michelle Handelman)

Michelle Handelman creates confrontational works that explore the sublime in its various forms of excess and nothingness. Starting out as a photographer with a series of haunting self-portraits, she has developed a body of work that incorporates video, performance, photography, and various forms of digital media. Her videos have screened internationally including Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris; ICA, London; American Film Institute; Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley and her performances have been featured at Performa 05, the first biennial of visual performance, NYC; Exit Art, NYC; 3LD Art & Technology Center, NYC; Participant, Inc., NYC and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Recent projects include Dorian, a cinematic perfume (Participant, Inc 2009; MIT List Visual Arts Center 2010); The Laughing Lounge (Performa 05 curated by Roselee Goldberg); This Delicate Monster (touring); Passerby commissioned for the show public.exe: Public Execution curated by Anne Ellegood and Michele Thursz; and DJ Spooky vs. WebSpinstress M an animated collaboration with Paul Miller AKA DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid.
In the mid 90s Handelman directed the feature documentary BloodSisters, an in-depth look at the San Francisco Leatherdyke scene that has just been re-released by the Tribeca Film Institute. Before moving to New York in 1999 Handelman collaborated for many years with Monte Cazazza, a pioneer of the Industrial music scene in San Francisco. Their explicit film Catscan broke into the art world through a series of guerrilla actions where Handelman and Cazazza commandeered the projector during many of the city’s anti-censorship rallies. Together they built several bodies of work including The Torture Series, the video short Hope (1995 Sony Visions Award); the co-authored The Cereal Box Conspiracy Against the Developing Mind published in Apocalypse Culture 2, Feral House Press. Her fiction and critical writing appears in Inappropriate Behaviour (Serpents Tail, London 2001); Coming Up: the World’s Best Erotic Writing edited by Michael Perkins (Kasak Books, NY 1995), and Herotica 3 edited by Susie Bright (Plume Books, SF 1994) well as several periodicals. She lives in New York and is an associate professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.
www.michellehandelman.com


ECSTASY POEM
Kika Nicolela (BR/USA)
Duration: 2 Min. 46 Sec.
Sound: Prelude from Bach, Cello Suite No. 1, performed by Yo-Yo Ma
Video by Kika Nicolela, 2006

Ecstasy Poem, Kika NicolelaSide by side, two faces of the same woman looking at the camera are in an extreme slow motion. All nuances of her expressions can be perceived. In one portrait, she’s young, at the peak of her beauty. On the other one, she is about 60 years old. The woman is the actress Liv Ullman, acting in two different films by Ingmar Bergman. This video is a reflection on identity and ageing. (Kika Nicolela)

FLUX
Kika Nicolela and Suzy Okamoto (BR/USA)
Duration: 11 Min.
Performer: Leticia Sekito
Sound: Ruriá Duprat
Video by Kika Nicolela and Suzy Okamoto, 2005

Flux, Kika Nicolela and Suzy Okamoto“How the body could protect itself from the big wounds and welcome the more subtle wounds?”. This quote belongs to the Brazilian philosopher Peter Pál Pelbart, echoing Nietzsche and Deleuze, on the wandering of the body that cannot stand being coerced anymore by the civilizing forces and the disciplinary technologies. The body, in order to stay alive, needs to let itself be affected by the contact with the world. In the film by Kika Nicolela and Suzy Okamoto, a body defies its exteriority; it wanders from the path of impotency to the vital force. In ten minutes. The body is wrapped in a red fabric and at the same time severed from the rest of world by this dress. The rest of the world is here consisted of a clay building, a valley, a river, among other elements with which it fuses itself. The clay of the Morumbi Chapel (where the video was partially shot) transforms itself in a body, it pulses with the blind touch of the woman in red. This same touch repeats itself in another scenery, between the fear and allure exerted by the vital potency of a horse. When this horse moves away,
in a wide shot that reminds a Kurosawa dream and the wandering of Kitano’s marionettes, she follows it without hesitation. Pelbart keeps on questioning: “How does he have the strength to be as strong as its weakness, instead of remaining in the weakness of only breeding the strength?”. This body – that incarnates the new subjectivities made up as life’s power against the power over life finds the strength way below the surface, leaving the weakness arise, touching the real. (Doll, essay by Juliana Monachesi for the film Flux, translated from the original in Portuguese.)

Kika Nicolela, born 1976 in Brazil, is a Brazilian artist and experimental filmmaker. Her works include single-channel videos, installations, performances, experimental documentaries and photography. Graduated in Film and Video by the University of Sao Paulo, Kika Nicolela also completed film courses at UCLA University. Her works have been screened and awarded in festivals of more than 30 countries, such as: Kunst Film Biennale, ACA Media Arts Festival, Videoformes New Media & Video Art Festival, International Electronic Art Festival Videobrasil and Exis Experimental Film & Video Festival. She was the recipient of several grants and has participated of about 60 solo and collective exhibitions in Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Portugal, UK and US. Currently Kika Nicolela also curates and coordinates the Exquisite Corpse Video Project, a collaborative series of videos that involves more than 60 artists from 25 countries. Since November 2009 Kika Nicolela’s main videos are being internationally distributed by Vtape, a video art distribution company based in Toronto, Canada. From January to March 2010, Kika Nicolela is developing a new installation work at the Rondo Studio artist-in-residence program, in Graz, Austria. She was also selected for the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Foundation (Germany, April-May 2010) and the Gyeonggi Creation Center (South Korea, July-September 2010) residency programs.

Suzy Okamoto, born 1965 in São Paulo, Brazil, received her M.A. in Visual Arts from the Art Institute of Unesp, São Paulo, the city she lives and works in. Since 2000 she has been researching the possibilities of crossing areas of various art categories, e.g. fashion, video and acting. Selected exhibitions in São Paulo: Capela do Morumbi, Galeria do Sesc Paulista, Galeria do Instituto de Artes da UNESP, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 3o Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Goiás, Galeria do Instituto de Artes da Unesp, Museu de Arte Moderna de Salvador.


AIRPORT REVISITED
Duba Sambolec (SLO/NOR)
Duration: 41 Sec.
Technical Assistant: Halldor Gjernes
Video (mute) by Duba Sambolec, 2004

The Airport Revisited, Duba SambolecThe video AIRPORT REVISITED presents conjugation as animated text; I am the center, you are the center, she is the center, he is the center, etc.
Someone might find the repetitive conjugation boring. However, the repetition of the one and the same thing is highly productive in political indoctrination of people, in profitable marketing of commodities and in selling the satisfaction of desire.
In my art opus and in my life, colors and forms occupy a cardinal position. They refer to cultural specifics, to collective and to personal sensibilities and character. During my artistic career and while I have been living for some time in protestant culture, I realize that colors, forms and patterns have everything to do with ideology. For some time, I have been provoked by contemporary fashion that has been promoting male and female modernist sport outlook that’s only recently “softened” with “frivolous” flowery patterns, mostly for the female clothes or, with ugly geometrical 50ies ones for both sexes. Most of the time, the contemporary patchworks are manifesting the crisis of concepts. Consequently, they are amateurish and ugly. These observations draw me to have a closer look at original patterns and handling of color in folklore and in carpets that show to be highly cultivated. When watching them, I feel simply good. What these products manifest is a discourse of colors and forms that play out the visual language of the inclusion of equally strong parameters. The result is abundance of difference that does not end up in the amorphous noise but in the presence of difference. However, we still insist to take part in the funeral and wear the mourning – “respectable” outfits or, we cover our gravity bound bodies with übermensch-happy-utopian, aerodynamic, alluding on speed clothes.
For me, the red color means energy, attention, eroticism, abject, danger, etc. In the video Airport Revisited, I chose the red color for the text and the black one for the background. One reason was to make the video visible in the city, if projected between the commercials at the LED screen.
Another one was the choice of aesthetics where the liquid red text on the black background connotes illusive and real individualities in the local and global context. Such an approach corresponded to my sense of universal zeitgeist where ignorance prevails. Humanity has been forced to acknowledge interconnectivity and to accept the relevance of the otherness. My objective was to point to its common grounds and to confront the viewer with the prejudices that are contra-productive. (Duba Sambolec)

Duba Sambolec was born in 1949 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. From 1992 to 2007, she had been Professor of Fine Art, Head of Sculpture at The Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. From 1998 to 1999, she was Professor of Fine Art with the emphasis on Sculpture at The National Academy of Fine Art, Oslo, Norway. From 2008 on, she is Professor, Faculty of Visual Arts, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway.
Besides artistic practice, her activities include public lectures and presentations, curatorial practice, writing texts on Fine Art, active participation at the international conferences and panel discussions, co-organization and leadership of international seminar, international tutorship of the BFA and MFA students, guest artist-teacher experience in Scandinavia, U.K., Slovenia and P. R. of China, external examination assessment, panel discussions and interviews in the TV, radio and printed media.
She is officially included as a subject of biographical record in national and international lexicons such as IBC, Cambridge, U.K.; 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century, 2009/10 and is selected by the Awards Board as a member of the International Biographical Centre Top 100 EDUCATORS – 2009, Cambridge, U.K., Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World, New Providence, N.J., U.S.A., 2009 and 2006. Her video opus is included to the AV archives DIVA / Digital Video Archive, SCCA Ljubljana, Slovenia that’s a part of GAMA / Gateway to Archives of Media Art, Europe and to the ONLINE ART and Feminism television programming ArtFem.TV, 19 video performances, production from 2005 to1999. Duba Sambolec exhibited her works in 33 solo shows and took part in numerous international group-shows. Her art covers multimedia installation, sculpture, drawing, video performance and digital photo-collage.
Invited artist (selection): Gallery Škuc, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig Wien / MUMOK, Vienna, Austria; National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; Center for Contemporary Arts / SCCA, Ljubljana, Slovenia; 6th International Festival of Contemporary Arts, City of Women, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Museums of Contemporary & Modern Art; Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade; Aperto ’88, Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy; São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil.
www.artreview.com/profile/DubaSambolec


OPHELIA
Iris Selke (DE)
Duration: 3 Min. 25 Sec.
Photography: T. Offermann, Camera: Anton Solovitschik, Sound: Melati Suryodarmo
Video and Performance by Iris Selke, 2005

Ophelia, Iris SelkeHamlet contains a depiction of female madness in Ophelia, which has been frequently appropriated, and feminist critics might explore the character of Ophelia and how they challenge – or fail to challenge – the domination of male characters. In feminist approaches, Ophelia can be seen as “the archetypal mad woman”, whereby this would suggest that our culture makes some intrinsic connection between femininity and insanity, as if to be female is in some way to be insane.
French feminist theorists take this a bit further and suggest that Ophelia’s madness suggest the inability of male language to really represent femininity – so that female characters are inevitably represented as fractured, broken, insane and reduced to nothing, as an “Ophelia as the impossible subject”. These critics are not claiming that Shakespeare failed to represent Ophelia fairly but that because all language is male centred that it is quite literally impossible to represent a whole female character using any existing language past or present. Instead Ophelia can only be represented as silence, madness, incoherence and nothingness. As Ophelia says: “I think nothing, my Lord”. Feminist critics accounting for Ophelia’s madness and death have also suggested that she represents the female side of Hamlet which must be rejected and killed as an “Ophelia as the exiled feminine”. Many feminist critics have suggested that Ophelia’s madness is directly related to her sexual nature and therefore a gendered inscription on the female character itself. (Excerpts from: Elizabeth Woledge, Hamlet Through a Lens: Freudian and Feminist Approaches.)
I break up with this romantic picture of Shakespearian times, by trying to “perform” a new metaphor of William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet”, where Hamlet’s love Ophelia commits suicide. Her suicide is the result of tragic happenings, where the supposed mental illness that Hamlet only feigns and her rejection by him is the accumulation of grief in her and leads her to drown herself in a pond. In the political gender aspect of our time, the Shakespearean “to be or not to be” has achieved a special and highly explosive value. I am performing as Ophelia on the water surface and wearing a red dress. (Iris Selke)

Iris Selke, born 1966 in Bielefeld, Germany. She began a stonemason apprenticeship in stone sculpture (1983), which she completed. In 1994 she became accepted as a student at the Professional School for Free Art in Hanover, Germany, and in 1995 she transferred to the High School of Visual Arts in Braunschweig, Germany, where she studied in the class of Professor Mara Mattuschka. 1996 she studied photography under Professor Dörte Eißfeldt, performance under Professor Anzu Furukawa and film and video under Professor Birgit Hein. In 1997 another field of study has opened to her: the spatial conceptions of Professor Marina Abramovic, performance / room concept. In the year 1998 she was exchange student at “The School of the Art Institute of Chicago”, USA. She graduated as a Master of fine art from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste“ Braunschweig, Germany, in 2003.
Selected exhibitions: Biennale Danza, 5. Festival Internazionale di Danza Contemporanea, Venice, Italy / Pi Performance & Intermedia Festivals, Stettin, Poland / “Persistent and Gradual Lose of Self-Control”, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands / “Creativity Explores, RISK IN PLURALITY”, Landesmuseum Braunschweig, Germany / FUNDACION NMAC Monte EDIO Arte CONTEMPORANEO, Spain.
www.irisselke.de


RED VELVET
Evelin Stermitz (A/SLO)
Duration: 9 Min. 30 Sec., loop
Sound by John Maxwell Hobbs, daily ambience / chartres 16-09-05
Video by Evelin Stermitz, 2006

Red Velvet, Evelin StermitzFor the perceptional surface of this video work, computer generated red velvet is developed as a structure for the screen. The color covers the screen with haptical sensations, and it is kept as an experimental video with its artificial structure, defining color symbolism and reflections toward its deep metaphorical character. Red velvet, formerly sacred to influential superior persons like regents and cardinals, becomes here combined with the monitor a sacred object itself, which opens up for further reflections on its relevance and connotations, also toward the media itself, its images and its aspects of use/abuse of power and sexuality. (Evelin Stermitz)

Evelin Stermitz graduated in media and new media art from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and she is holding a master’s degree in philosophy from media studies. Her works are in the field of media and new media art with the main emphasis on post-structuralist feminist art practices. She received grants for the International Summer Art School of the University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, and the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria, within the media class by VALIE EXPORT.
Selected exhibitions: 2009 BAC! 10.0, Pandora’s B., Festival international de arte contemporáneo en Barcelona, X edición, CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain / Videomedeja, Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia / 2008 “Femmes, femmes, femmes”, MAC/VAL Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine, France / Plus 3 Ferris Wheels: Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University / Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo, New York / Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University / 2007 chico.art.net v.4, The Electronic Arts Program, California State University / 1.3 Festival of Video and New Media Art, Mestna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia / Imagining Ourselves, International Museum of Women, San Francisco / Video Art in the Age of the Internet, Chelsea Art Museum, New York / 2006, 2007 FILE Rio and FILE São Paulo, Brazil / 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 FSPACE, Festival International du Film Lesbien et Féministe de Paris, Trianon, Paris, France / 2006 Cyberfem. Feminisms on the electronic landscape., EACC Espai d’ Art Contemporani de Castelló, Spain / Stop Violence Against Women, C2C Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic / 2006, 2008, 2010 Rdeče Zore – Red Dawns, international feminist and queer festival, Metelkova mesto, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
www.evelinstermitz.net


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