EXHIBITION PERIODE: 13TH
OF APRIL - 22TH OF APRIL
Sparwasser HQ, Torstrasse 161,
dream operator is the title of a series of video installations and screenings in Sparwasser hq 12.4.01 04.06.01 (see program). The first installation is by the Danish artist, Søren Martinsen.
Who, as a child, did not have a dream that turned into a nightmare: waking up one morning to find yourself the only person left on earth, the freedom of independence transforming quickly into loneliness and despair. Walking through the installation When I woke up, you were gone by Søren Martinsen evokes these dream/nightmare emotions. The installation consists of three different projections, each capturing the atmosphere of a walk through a deserted townscape. The same soundtrack, a piece by Giya Kancheli, guides all three. There is nothing dramatic about the setting, as such. Emotional effect is obtained through simple, formal, cinematic effects; it is the combination of fluid, almost slow-motion camera movements and music that turn these views of depopulated architecture into a narrative of lonely searching and longing for reunification, underscored by the title of the installation.
Martinsen takes a similar approach in his video Into the Freetown, which is screened nightly in the window of Sparwasser HQ. The architectural setting is Christiania, an autonomous community in Copenhagen. The narrator walks through an empty and deserted town. Once again, sound, camera, and editing create a psychedelic atmosphere, and the architecture represents lost idealism, pointing to Christiania as a failed utopia.
The two pieces are part of Martinsen's ongoing investigation and redefinition of the principles of documentary filmmaking. The camera captures real material, but the point of departure is always subjective, and in opposition to TV documentary or journalism, Martinsen's works do not attempt to uncover a certain truth or fulfill an enlightening aim. He employs, instead, the manipulative possibilities of the documentary genre in a simple, formalistic exploration of his subject. Martinsen makes the manipulation, which present in all documentary work, transparent, and the outcome is a highly personal and suggestive work.
In connection with the exhibition, three additional videos by Martinsen will be shown at Z-bar. Shadows and Magic explores the Copenhagen art-scene from various perspectives: Martinsen's personal experience, his contemporaries, and the younger generation of artists. Despite its specific setting, the work reflects the general situation and complexes of the artist. Burn and Wrecking Ball both investigate phenomenon of festival culture: a catharsis experience of outliving ones fantasies and getting lost. Both videos generate apocalyptic feelings.
Text: Henrikke Nielsen
Video-Installation 13 -22 April:
bis 22. April
WHEN I WOKE UP, YOU WERE GONE
"When I woke Up, You Were
Gone" is a video installation on three screens. Each screen
shows a different video.
This installation examines
the atmosphere of special architectural sites.
The travelling camera movements
on the videos create an "elastic" effect, as if the
city were a soft and fluid structure which changes all the time,
a theme that is enhanced by the physical experience of walking
in and out of rooms to see the 3-screen installation in the gallery's
The character of the site is
enhanced, by means of a manipulation of the images with sound,
music, camera movements and other techniques which come from
cinema. In this way the video uses the formal, cinematic possibilitues
of the video medium and its ability to create a mise-en-scene
of an everyday scenario in a special light.
SHADOWS & MAGIC - Art
Life in Copenhagen
THE BURN video (29 min)
An English version is on its way!
Instruktion og fotografi: Søren
The BURN er en eksperimentalvideo optaget på
Burning Man Festivalen i Nevada Ørkenen 1998.
Dette mini-bysamfund fungerer
som en non-kommerciel, anarkistisk lejr hvor deltagerne udfører
eksperimenter med sig selv og søger at nærme sig
en utopi om at leve sammen i et alternativt fællesskab,
der er baseret på personlig frihed og grænsebrydning
snarere end kommercialisme og regler, der jo kendetegner det
etablerede kapitalistiske samfund.
Jeg har altid været fascineret
af mennesker der søger at etablere utopiske, eksperimenterende
samfund. Jeg ønskede at vise Burningn Man Festivalen sådan
som jeg oplevede den, som en outsider/voyeur med et kamera i
ørkenen i 12 dage. Jeg ville gerne prøve at få
beskueren til at føle hvordan det føltes at være
der, hvilken oplevelse det var - uden at tilkendegive min egen
bedømmelse af om Burning Man som visionært, utopisk
projekt er en succes eller en fiasko.
(1997) DV/ Betacam.
"Wrecking Ball" is a video about Europe's largest rock festival ("Roskilde" in Denmark). The terrible and tragig events that occurred at the Roskilde Festival 2000 when eight young people were crushed to death at a concert, eerily echo the dramatic atmosphere of the film, but the film was shot 3 years earlier than the tragedy and it has no connection or reference whatsoever to this.
An establishing shot (thousands
arrive at the festival) at the beginning hints at the context,
but the crowd shown might be from anything from a rave to a political
demonstration, or a peace march. The specific facts about the
event are not disclosed; it was important for me that the video
only provide the loose backdrop of an 'abstract' location. The
video is simply a series of images from a place which is clearly
a 'pocket of difference', judging from the way the people and
the architecture look - a zone for a certain 'other', alternative
The video assumes a documentary
style but employs very manipulative editing and careful selection
of raw footage. Only the festival's 'side-effects' are shown
in the video.
The video is about the need for extacy. It's a slightly cynical but also funny, voyeuristic study in compulsive, all-devouring celebration and its consequences. Human beings need to let off steam in a carnivalesque 'paretheses', a zone where the normal rules do not apply.
The song "Woodstock" is used in the beginning and at the end of the video and points to the irony of the fact that the young generation of twentysomethings in the 90's still haven't created their 'own' celebration, automatically 'replay' the extasy that their parents discovered in their youth: The dinosaur Woodstock lives on in the " contemporary rock festival.
Also shown on the gallery window 13. - 22. April
"Into The Freetown"
is a video produced for an exhibition ("Escape Attempts")
which took place in a notorious Danish hippie commune called
Christiania. Christiania is unique because of its large size
and geographical location(more than 1000 people live in a very
large area right near the centre of Copenhagen) and its longevity
(it dates back to 1971). In spite of hostility and pressure from
the government and the police, it has the status of 'social experiment'
and has managed to survive.
The video recounts a fictitious
voyage into Christiania. A voice tells us the story about walking
into the "Freetown". This place turns out to be a mysterios
town without any people, as if everybody had suddenly disappeared