Rosa Menkman + ‘Ways of Something’
MOVING IMAGE Art Fair
through September 6th, 2015
TRANSFER is pleased to present in our fifth Moving Image Art Fair,exhibiting ‘Xilitla’ an algorithmic artwork from Dutch artist Rosa Menkman, and hosting a screening of ‘Ways of Something’ compiled by Lorna Mills in Istanbul.
Xilitla is a little village in the Huasteca region of Mexico. Here, in the early 1940s, Sir Edward James – a poet known for his patronage of the surrealist art movement – started the construction of his own idyllic, surrealist pool garden, Las Pozas, in which he deconstructed the many forms and styles of functional architecture. In the hands of Rosa Menkman, ‘Xilitla’ has been transformed into a hallucinatory, futuristic 3D architectural environment consisting of moving images, laced with polygons and dysfunctional objects. Inside this algorthimic piece, a Janushead is used to navigate Menkman’s digital dreamscape. Taking advantage of the tensions between gameplay and audiovisual art, this aesthetic experiment opens up a new, eerie poetic and fantasmatic universe.
‘Xilitla’ exists as a free downloadable application, released in 2013 by the artist. An enhanced and expanded edition with three audiovisual video pieces documenting Menkman performing the gameplay was acquired by the Museum of the Image in the Netherlands (MOTI) in 2014, where it has been on display ever since. Its exhibition at Moving Image Art Fair makes available the remaining two editions of the enhanced collectors edition (‘Xilitla’ 2014, Edition of 3 +1 AP) packaged for appreciation on a dedicated MAC mini configured to run the piece, accompanied by the three gameplay videos and a certificate signed by the artist.
‘Ways of Something’ compiled by Lorna Mills
Screening at the Moving Image Art Fair, Sunday September 6th, 2015 at 5PM, followed by a Q&A with Mills
“Ways of Something” is a contemporary remake of an episode from John Berger’s BBC documentary, “Ways of Seeing” (1972). The project consists of one-minute videos by over 85 web-based artists who commonly work with 3D rendering, gifs, film remix, webcam performances, and websites to describe the cacophonous conditions of artmaking after the internet.
Still from Episode 1, Minute 7 by Jennifer Chan
Curated and compiled by Lorna Mills, this remake is based a four-part series of thirty-minute films created by art theorist John Berger and produced by Mike Dibb. In the original films, voice-of-God narration over iconic European paintings offer a careful dissection of traditional “fine art” media and the way society has come to understand them as art. This current project invited artists to respond to what Berger called “learned assumptions” about art in dialogue with the camera and the screen in its reproduction.
It is, in effect, art about art about television about the internet.
Featuring formal, figural and kitsch practices to videomaking, “Ways of Something” consists of aesthetically diverse interpretations of Berger’s ideas on looking at art after the introduction of digital media. Ultimately, it turns the highbrow nature of documentary film into a wondrous and disjointed series of alternative outlooks on how artists understand art today.