08 May 2007

Snapshot (In Time)

‘Snapshot (In Time)’ is part of the umbrella event (Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam 2007 and puts emphasis on the transience of the artworks.
From 09-05-2007 untill 13-05-2007
Ross Birrell, Susan Philipsz and works from the collection.

‘Snapshot (In Time)’ is part of the umbrella event (Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam 2007 and puts emphasis on the transience of the artworks. The video and sound installations accentuate the temporary and the ephemeral, but refer to ongoing ideas and dreams.

Ross Birrell
Envoy (The Interpretation of Dreams)
2001, video, 0,13'' min.
Courtesy by Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam

Ross Birrell
Envoy (Brave New World)
2001, video, 0,42'' min.
Courtesy by Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam

Ross Birrell
Envoy (The Destiny of the World)
2001, video, 0,39'' min.
Courtesy by Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam

The Scottish artist Ross Birrell is known for his conceptual performances, which he carries out all over the world and records on video. The works being shown here, The Interpretation of Dreams (2001), Brave New World (2001) and The Destiny of the World (2001), are part of the series Envoy(1998-2002). The tapes, which often last less than a minute, are made at places that symbolize historic ideologies and utopias. The objects that are central to the videos are also similarly charged.

The artist believes that the Big Stories of history are being lost, and brings them to our attention again in these works. Birrell does that by personally taking a book or other object to a location that has been, or could have been important historically. In The Interpretation of Dreams (2001), Brave New World (2001) and The Destiny of the World (2001) these symbolically charged books are thrown into the sea or a river.

The books that he chooses for his performances are critical of society, deal with an ideal society, or have had great influence on the thinking of mankind. Birrell threw Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams into the Gulf of Finland. Huxley’s Brave New World landed on the Norwegian/Russian border, and The Destiny of the World: The Socialist Shape of Things to Come by Shakhnazarov was thrown into the Norwegian Barents Sea.

Susan Philipsz
2003, sound installation, 3.07 min. loop.
Courtesy by Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam

Susan Philipsz
Songs sung in the first person on themes of release, sympathy and longing
2003, sound installation, ca. 1.30 min. - 2.30 min. (the songs are heard at fixed intervals)
Courtesy by Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam

Guadalupe (2003) is an audio installation comprised of sounds from a busy public space, a man who sings the number I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry, and a woman who inquires about the bus to Guadalupe. This audio work was originally heard in a Texas bus station. It is a story about the wish to travel to unfamiliar places with exotic names, and calls to mind desires, and the urge to escape. This audio work refers to the search for places that can never be found.

The work of the Scottish artist Susan Philipsz starts with the relations among sound, space and subjectivity. Philipsz is interested in the emotional and psychological qualities of sound, particularly in popular music, and how this can alter the individual’s consciousness. In her work she goes in search of ways to stir up and copy subjective memories in the listener. Simple melodies temporarily alter the image that the listener has of him or herself in a particular time and space. She often uses her own voice in the audio installations, for which a familiar pop number or folk song is the starting point, thus evoking both feelings of nostalgia, and slight disassociation at the unfamiliar voice. Her work is often installed in public spaces such as bus stations, tunnels, a supermarket or a garden. The selection of these locations adds an extra layer of meaning to the artwork. Just as quickly as the sound arrives, it disappears again a couple of minutes later. The two audio works by Philipsz are therefore not installed in obvious ‘art places’, but in two public passageways at the institute, in a corridor and in a stairwell.

For the installation Songs Sung in the First Person on Themes of Release, Sympathy and Longing (2003) Philipsz sang and recorded four popular numbers by Gram Parsons, Soft Cell, Teenage Fanclub and The Smiths a cappella. This sound work refers to aural voyeurism, and unintentionally overhearing someone else’s secrets. It is about listening with your soul, not with your ears.

Anouk De Clercq
2004, video work, 5.00 min.
Netherlands Media Art Institute
In the love story Me+ (2004) the artist worked with the minimal graphic means. A small white cross moves against an otherwise black, empty screen, then multiplies itself to become two crosses that dance around the screen together, only to then disappear together. The text was written and whispered by Anouk De Clercq herself. The music that one hears in the background was composed by Anton Aeki, who also comes from Belgium. As the viewer, you become conscious of the influence of the text and electronic music on the two-dimensional image. As a result, the graphic, flat black field with the transitory, minimal crosses suggests more than that: an intimate love story in a three-dimensional space that seem to be an infinite universe.

In her predominately black and white videos, the Flemish artist Anouk De Clercq is seeking confrontations among image, text, music, dance, architecture and graphic elements. She explores the possibilities for creating a virtual world with the computer. In her work she uses a digital, visual language that is based on that of the computer and the screen: pixels, cursor and text. De Clercq produces fleeting mental images: virtual, gray landscapes that constantly change. They are sensory inner landscapes that belong to a fantasy world. De Clercq’s work is a form of escape from reality, although it also contains traces of the same reality. By creating a virtual world the artist tries to obtain more insight into our ordinary environment. Ultimately, all Anouk De Clerq’s works carry the viewer along on a journey through mental landscapes.

Seoungho Cho
2001, video work, 4.30 min.
Netherlands Media Art Institute
1/1 is a video work which, in a poetic manner, recalls the early stages of the transient medium of video, and points to optimism with regard to the present state of affairs and expectations for the future. A video cassette is filmed in grainy black and white images. A hand investigates the object, opens the cover, pulls the videotape out and holds it firmly between thumb and forefinger. When the fingers are rubbed along the tape they produce a squeaking sound. At the same time the fingers which seek to, as it were, ‘read’ the magnetic strip on the tape, are damaging the images on it.. The image of a butterfly that is to be seen now and then becomes increasingly less clear as the tape is damaged. Ultimately the tape is pulled apart and, now in a clear image, the butterfly is seen flying away.

The video works of the Korean artist Seoungho Cho are poetic visualizations of his subconscious. Because in his work he proceeds primarily from intuition, he terms himself an intuïtionist. The genesis of each new work is an experiment. Anything that calls up a visual/mental image for him can serve as the point of departure for the experiment, such as for instance a poem, music or a video clip, but also simply the bustling life on the street. Dream-like associative sequences of images that fade into one another, overlap each other, and advance and rewind at various speeds are characteristic of his work..

Space and time seem to be cancelled out, as in a dream. Image, sound, music and text form a fascinating collage in his video installations, blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

Furthermore, a temporary and idiosyncratic café dishes up black-and-white snacks.

Dark Mirror
The free group exhibition ‘Dark Mirror’ coincides ‘Snapshot (In Time)’. The exhibition explores man’s social conditioning and compares it to animal instinct. Internationally renowned artists show the borderline between the rational human being and the animal creature. The twilight zone where emotions and instincts reign and social conditioning is momentarily peripheral. The participating artists all react to their environments in very self-willed ways and highlight social codes, nature and the animal in their works. Works are shown by Carlos Amorales, Emmanuelle Antille, Marcus Coates, Mike Stubbs, Mark Wallinger, and works from collections of Rick Buckley, Charlemagne Palestine, Jeremy Drummond, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Sterling Ruby, Joanna Rytel and Servaas.

Opening hours
Daily 13:00 – 18:00 hrs

(Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam
Wednesday 9 until 13 May (inclusive) 2007 in Amsterdam
(Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam engenders a brief but intensive moment of symbiosis between prominent Amsterdam-based art institutes. The 2006 edition proved a success and again this year the floor plan of the Museum is the entire city. The halls of this museum are made up by: De Ateliers, De Balie, Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Huis Marseille, Lloyd Hotel & Culturele Ambassade, Nederlands Instituut voor mediakunst TBA/Montevideo, Reservaat, SKOR – De Inkijk, SMART Project Space, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum CS en W130.
more infortmation www.tijdelijkmuseumamsterdam.n


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