Art Rotterdam 2013
Within the context of the contemporary art fair in Rotterdam, we find the "Art Rotterdam projections", the first fair for video art in the Netherlands. You will find projections in a worldwide, unique, open and interactive setting. Focused on a local artists from Northern European countries, a total of 19 video-art pieces from Dutch, German, Japanese Swedish, English and Swiss artists.
The space at the Las Palmas Building in Cruise Terminal is perfect for showing us several works, the nature of the projections screens and sound being of high quality. You can sit, put the head-phones on and enjoy the music or speech, without bothering the rest of the visitors.
Concerning the exhibition, what we can see? 19 international galleries present a video work of an upcoming or more renowned artist, such as the remarkable work of Meiro Kozumi, Erkka Nissinen, Stefan Constantinescu or Hans Oop the Beck among others. Other known artists on the international scene as Johane Billing, Josephine Meckseper or Keren Cittis are also present in this exhibition.
MEIRO KOIZUMI (Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam) is a Japanese artist who creates works that play with the uncomfortable and indefinable line between cruelty and comedy. "Defect in vision" (12' 2011), talks about the idea of blindness - both philosophical and physical. The work is projected on two sides of an a single screen, preventing the viewer from taking in both sides at once, showing us a domestic scene during world war II. While in one side a woman attends a fictional husband, the rear screen reveals the same scene with the same conversation but this time her husband is present.
The very effective use of lustrous black and white helps to meditate on the myth-saturated mind of the Japanese warrior class in the last days of W.W.II. The conversation turns to the offensive against the american forces. If you pay attention you realize that both are blind. The symbolism is obvious, their blindness allegorizes a deep-seated obviousness to historical reality.
HANS OOP THE BEECK (Belgian, Gallerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam). With "Parade" (11" 2013) has created a short film, shot on the stage of a large theatre. Once red velvet curtains draws apart, a slow musical waltz commences. A long colourful sequence of people move across the stage from left to right. All of them have a familiar and everyday appearance, but together form a touching and meditative parade on life and death. Oop the Beeck shows to the viewer easily identifiable places, moments and characters that appear to have been aken from contemporary everyday-life. He capture in his images the tragicomic absurdity of our postmodern existence. He calls these situations "proposals", they are fictional, but as a sort of parallel reality.
ERKKA NISSINEN (Finish, Ellen the Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam). "Polis" (27" 2012) is a video where an assortment of absurd characters inhabit a utopian city designed by Le Corbusier and Albert Speer. The city becomes the stage for a series of incoherent comic events and several strange encounters. The cast ranges from a plumber and a talking beaver to porn actors and even politicians. The film discloses a critical take on the difficulties of social interaction, on philosophy, and on the language of media. The result is a video-art full ob absurdity, humor, parody and intentional clumsiness, questioning tags as social interaction, current political trends and social issues.
Gallery Anita Becker from Frankfurt presents STEFAN CONSTANTINESCU. "Dinner family" (14" 2012) is close to be a film, in fact, Constantinescu has made several films over his carrer. In “Dinner Family” a woman is in a supermarket looking for a bottle of wine. Her mobile phone sounds, she has a conversation with someone, she goes home. She decides to take a bath while her husband prepares the dinner. The image is of a perfect family, lovely couple and lovely daughter. When she is taking a bath she exchanges kinky messages with her lover; her family are impatiently waiting for her to have dinner. She continues texting...She becomes another person, so completely different from the strict mother at the dinner table. With "Dinner Family" Constantinescu makes the viewer enter in this world of Scandinavian perfection where everything is tidy -in appearance-, minimal decoration and beautiful people, where everything is in order and civilized. The mobile phone is the only dirt in this perfect world.
The objective of this fair is not to present a panorama of international artists working with video-art, first of all, because it is a fair of galleries, whose clear objective is to sell the works. So Art Rotterdam 2013 talks more about galleries than artists, but it is a good initiative, and reflects a group of artists whose works have been created over the last five years, using video as a way of expression within their own artistic universe.