Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Lars Lauman exhibition, Open Eye Gallery

from what i gathered there were three main elements to the Lars Lauman exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery; The first video piece you notice as you walk into the gallery  is entitled 'Morrissey Foretelling the Death of Diana', 2006. The main obstacle for me and this piece is mainly that I'm not really that big of a fan of Morrissey, and I'm also not that keen on conspiracy theories, which didn't really endear me to the idea of sitting down and watching a video piece about the two.
The second video piece that you notice is called 'Helen Keller (and the great purging bonfire of books and unpublished manuscripts illuminating the dark)'. this video piece however was something that i felt i needed to sit down and watch from start to finish. I'm not sure how interested i was in the actual footage and imagery of the film, and how much was the conventions of TV - my routine of 'theres something that looks like a film and has a definite narrative on a screen, sit down and watch it'. most of the imagery was recycled and as a result there were times when i felt like i was watching an old film on TV, a film that id walked in on half way through, something i knew i wouldn't really understand but id give a good half to two thirds of my attention to, im not sure how sucessful a video peice my reactions made it, i didnt really sit down and take the message in - if there was a definate message to be take in! but it definately suceeded in getting me to sit down and watch.

still from the peice 'Helen Keller (and the great purging bonfire of books and unpublished manuscripts illuminating the dark)'

The video piece that i enjoyed the most was a piece called 'Duett', 2010. it was something that i didn't initially notice because the sound was coming through head phones and it was on a TV screen instead of projected like the previous two, the TV screen was on its side, something that caught my attention purely because it wasn't as you'd expect TVs to be, the piece didn't provide me with any proper narrative or information like the other two, and as a result i felt as though i was allowed to take from it what i wanted, there wasn't enough structure or narrative, it was vague enough that i could just enjoy it for what i got from it without the impression that there was a definite message i should be understanding. It was made up of the images of Margaret Thatcher and Donald Rumsfeld discussing the sinking of an Argentine ship and the known and unknowns of the Afghanistan war (information which i have just got off the Internet). but at the time, all i had was assumptions, i knew who Margaret Thatcher was, and i could guess the other speaker was an American politician from possibly the 70's or 80's. i was aware of the political references and could guess certain elements of the facts, but at the same time was lulled into a state where i could have listened to the audio all day, even though it was pretty much on a loop and the same words and noises were repeated it had a really curios quality; i was completely content with listening and watching the visuals of the piece. i was aware of the people and connotations involved but didn't feel forced to understand, i felt as though i was allowed to take from it what i wanted and enjoy the piece just for what i got from it.

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