February 1, 2008, 11:31 am
Filed under: WARUM 2.0


I am very hesitant when it comes to aesthetics. But I am aware of the many streams of meaning flowing underneath and through any decision made about form. I guess I prefer not to, and let them do their work with the aesthetic potential. Art is definitely there, in Warum 2.0, even if it is avoided, art that is. The same goes with the religious aspect of it. How could religion ever be avoided in this formation, with pictures of war, victims and people suffering? Of the good then, and the bad, as represented by people doing in turn their profit with the pictorial material. In this dual scheme, I’m afraid, Warum 2.0 is fixed on the bad side.


The Warum 2.0 installation arena took the tape ‘Warum Wir Männer die Technik so Lieben’ (1985) as its starting point. Willing nilling, it therefore continues some originally employed aesthetics. The sublime and the subliminal, very present (even in a subversive way) in the original tape, are also still active here, be it distorted. The threatening clouds are back again, enhanced. The closed figure of the circle in the tape has been broken up by four centrifugal spatial curves. The square has been multiplied into many squares of transparant screens and square tables, carrying loads of interface hardware. The tables are positioned in one oblique direction. They suggest an axis cutting through the absolute forms of circle, square and triangle, with an intention of invading the space of the arena. The squared screens do not any longer function as windows neither, as their views create more blindness than clarity. As the television monitor has been replaced by projections and flatscreens, the monitor mirror effect has gone too. There are practically no reflections, definitely not of viewers. The clever narrative structure of the original tape, guiding and misguiding the viewer (manipulating that is), is left behind. If narration is still possible, it will have to be invented by the viewers. And where could it come from, if not out of their experience, as walkers in the dark or as searchers online. Unless something happens, there will be no great story to tell. So then, waiting for the event, in the cave? Or will you visitors call it a labyrinth, a playfield, a studio, a mess (hopefully not a mass. Please).

Why is no crime, somebody told me while building the set. Thank you Rene. Hope then. But there is much more. What if there is no longer the viewer, that dearly wanted, kindred ennemy every maker hopes to reach? What if there is no religion? No victims. Only warriors. Fighting, yes. Please, don’t ask me to stop fighting. For God’s sake, don’t. Notice the pride in the faces Daniel Demoustier filmed in Iraq, in Aghanistan. The kind of pride fighters can show in their face. The question then is also, what do our faces show when looking at these faces? And what happens if they start to mix, to superimpose onto each other, the faces, theirs and ours? What if we see only our faces. The way for example we see faces everywhere, even in the clouds. ‘I saw a face in the clouds and I endowed it with human activity’ (Stewart Guthrie). The question (encore) is: whose human activity?




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