Date: April - July 2007
Curator: Neus Miró
Organized by: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno. CAAM.
In collaboration with: British Council and La Caja de Canarias.
Venue: CAAM - San Antonio Abad
In the San Antonio Abad exhibition hall, the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is presenting crossing walls, an exhibition curated by Neus Miró, based on the concept of the multiple areas of convergence and intersection between architecture and film. The exhibition will be on display from 27th April to 15th July 2007.
Crossing walls is an exhibition comprising three audio-visual installations which explore one of the elements common to film and architecture: movement. In this respect, both film and architecture are based on movement and they are both disciplines which roam, flow and, in that movement, generate emotions and psychological states in the spectator.
In the three installations made by Jonas Dahlberg, Jana Leo and Jane & Louise Wilson, respectively, the spectator comes up before audio-visual representations of spaces experienced through a voyage, along a route made up of a series of ordered and articulated images. At the same time, each of the installations occupies the exhibition area in a singular manner, involving a distinct physical and psychological experience for the spectator. The works are by artists whose work contains a notion of space as something flexible, fluid, permeable and capable of adhering experiences. The spatial representations they build from audio-visual media are articulated around routes, voyages through architectures, which are often seen as impossible in physical reality. The title crossing walls refers precisely to a movement in space which is actually impossible – except for Gordon Matta-Clark- but feasible and in fact very common in film, like crossing through walls and rooms with a travelling camera and thus connecting physically separate spaces.
The exhibition refers to three possible categories of space, a combination of three spatial strata. On the one hand, all the works are based on physical spaces, that is real points of reference, in the form of the historic remains of an obsolete architecture in the case of Jane & Louise Wilson, a model in the case of Jonas Dahlberg or the domestic space chosen by Jana Leo. On the other hand, all the spaces are "experienced" by the spectator from their audio-visual representation constructed from routes. And a third level in this spatial stratification to which we were referring is the navigation and circuit configured in the exhibition area, based on the different elements forming the respective installations. The works on show invite the spectator to wander around the exhibition area.
Promenade (2006) by Jonas Dahlberg was filmed on a model manufactured for the purpose. For the spectator, its architecture has numerous connotations associated to structures of power in the field of culture, economics or politics. The two projections of the same space which are juxtaposed in a corner of the hall increase and emphasise a confusing interpretation of the represented space. The constantly moving camera follows the four sides of the space, producing a sensation of alienating confusion in the spectator. The spaces shown by the two screens appear now as contiguous, now as opposite. Only close observation of the characters in the architecture enables the spectator to perceive the navigation process.
Intruder by Jana Leo is an installation consisting of nine monitors on a shelf simulating and reminiscent, in their placement and appearance, of a panel of monitors linked to a closed video surveillance system. Through the images, the spectator becomes voyeur, able to follow the daily activities of the inhabitant of an apartment on the small screens. Another character suddenly appears, however, with his face covered by a balaclava, altering to a possibly dangerous situation. The visitor is not only a voyeur of daily life but of a dangerous situation before which we can merely observe.
The third installation is entitled Erewhon (2004) by Jane & Louise Wilson. On this occasion, it comprises five screens, some of them forming a ceiling, so that the spectator is often surrounded by and submerged in images. It was filmed in New Zealand on the site of a recently vacated sanatorium and abandoned mines. It recreates one of the aspects of early 20th century colonialism when, due to the loss of life during World War I, it became necessary to repopulate the island and encourage reproduction among its inhabitants. On the screens, the spectator visits the sites of the sanatorium and the mines, now completely obsolete. The camera stops in a long take before a series of young women who, dressed in dated costumed, are performing gymnastic exercises. The images show the scenes found in old photographs in the form of living tableaux.