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Your Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: series makes inventive use of the male nude. Many of the images seem to have a humorous consciousness of the history of the female nude in painting and photography. Can you talk a little bit about your use of the male nude and the context in which you place it?
When I decided to start working in way that combined the nude and the still life genre, I quickly found I wasn’t comfortable treating women as objects, so within that series I worked exclusively with men. Using male bodies has the advantage of the fact that the male is the agreed-upon neutral subjectivity for our culture—a “default” setting. The male body therefore can be a blank slate in a way the female can’t.
As for painting, in Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: I was primarily focused on the nude in popular media and not really thinking about the history of painting. Of course painting has informed photography throughout its history, so a certain dialogue between the two is built in.
What's the process behind your Recent Work (2012)? Do you consider these a post-camera form of photography as opposed to a more traditional collage?
In the pictures you’re referring to, about 10% of the elements in the pictures are appropriated or solely generated by computer, without a camera. Examples include the grid backgrounds in Reverse Wallpaper and Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: and the two appropriated images of football players in the latter picture. What appear in the rest of the series are things I photographed specifically for this body of work or for the previous series--I appropriated my own work. What I did here actually questions what “postcamera ...
Bete, 2011 oil on canvas on board 5 pieces 25cm x 15cm
What do you feel is revealed in your utilization of rigid digital pixelated form in the medium of painting?
A constant in my oeuvre is my attempt to create works that have several layers of meaning, most of my choices are open to multiple interpretation and I think none of them are wrong. My paintings want to be the starting point for a thought rather than the embodiment of a thought. First of all, rigid digital pixelated forms attempt to create an order, give meaning to chaos, bring clarity and simplification. It is a tribute to the wonder of color, too, its power, its importance in our life. My colors in a pixelated grid most of the time represent objects, but only if you look at them from the right distance, as you move closer to them the only thing they portray are colors: how they work together and how they react between themselves, how they affect us and how we react with them. But those forms are also something that carries us back to the most synthetic, most artificial part of out lives. I refer, no matter how obsolete the definition, to the virtual sphere of our experience, a part of out lives now merged. It seemed like something I had to talk about.
You've stated that "Consoles, joysticks, cables and wires that litter the desks as a contemporary reinterpretation of the genre scene, aiming to capture the climax of the information society, to consider a digital alternative point of view and tell what lies behind his cold surface, because if you stop to it what we expect is just a miserable future." I wonder if you can talk a little bit about this miserable future ...
Continuing our tribute to Chris Marker, here is GORGOMANCY, his flash website that debuted last year. It contains a version of his CD-ROM Immemory, his video tour of Ouvroir, and the entirety of his 1989 miniseries L'Héritage de la Chouette (The Owl's Legacy), a record of a 13-part symposium on Ancient Greece supported by the Onassis Foundation.
From Stopover in Dubai
GORGOMANCY also hosts Marker's secretive film Stopover in Dubai. Stopover is the haunting reconstruction of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's murder in September 2010. It utilizes security camera footage throughout, emphasizing the frigid complicity between surveillance and violence.
It's also worth mentioning here that Marker had an impressive Youtube presence as the user Kosinski. Recent work of his can be found there, including Kino, his short history of cinema, visible above. All of these works illustrate the reach of Marker's mastery and importance as an artist.
Saddened by the news of Chris Marker's death today at age 91, I guided my generic male goth avatar to Ouvroir, Marker's Second Life island chain. Ouvroir is devoted to monuments, art, eclectic means of transportation, and, of course, Monsieur Guillaume. It can be accessed at the coordinates 187, 61, 39. In 2010, Marker made Ouvroir, the movie, featuring Guillaume's wanderings through the space.
Dancing with Guillame. Here is a video of Monsieur Guillaume dancing with an unidentified bald avatar.
A Guillaume submarine.
A crashed plane, giraffe, and palm trees on the sands of Ouvroir.
Three cat statues and the iconic spherical museum.
Bowing before a giant Guillaume with a sampling of artwork visible at Ouvroir.
Ouvroir from above.
"Every memory can create its own legend," we are told in Marker's 1982 film Sans Soleil. Marker's work always concerned itself with memory and the formation of history, and ranged in subject from the Vietnam war to Alexander Medvedkin's CineTrain. In 1962, he made La Jetée, a short film composed almost entirely of stills. Other films include 1977's A Grin Without A Cat, focusing on Left political movements of the 60s and 70s, and 2004's The Case of the Grinning Cat, which explored France's own political turmoil in the years after 9/11. Famously reclusive, Marker is now free to sprial endlessly into legend.
We started Flightphase by presenting our artworks in a design context -- to a design audience and a design market. As a result, the projects we were engaged for were usually some kind of hybrid of design and art including art commissions, and we're hoping it's going to shift even further in the art direction. This probably speaks more about the state of the art-design tension and about the artworld’s changing attitude towards design -- what used to be seen as the ‘inferior’ art form has gained new respect, as evidenced by shows such as Talk to Me. New media practice in general seems to engender the attitude that its necessary focus on formal and functional considerations doesn’t preclude a high concept.