Thursday we did studio visits with Stephen Wright from n.e.w.s. On Friday we were back at Nieuwe Vide our new basecamp and presentations for The Object Lag. As part of the series of Sunday presentations entitled The Outlet Inn on Sunday May 16th Vittoria Soddu and Jeroen Marttin presentated Haarhandel the week before and also screened the film Hair India by Marco Leopardi en Raffaele Brunetti.

In preparation for the upcoming broadcasts for Salto, Stephen gave a day-long video presentation entitled, When Video Performs Art.
In recent years, as the attention economy has triumphed, art has increasingly withdrawn from the world. In its place, one finds documentation of art, suggesting that art is not immediately present, but hidden, its coefficient of artistic visibility far too low for it to be detected and identified as such. There is perhaps no overarching explanation of this quest for the “shadows,” but there is one undeniable consequence: that is, that cutting-edge art no longer takes place in art galleries, museums or other exhibition spaces, but rather in documentation centers and archives. Increasingly it is through documents rather than through artwork that art takes place, is framed and more precisely “performed.” Of course these “documents” look for all the world like artworks — not only because artworks no longer look like anything in particular, but because they typically use media, above all video, historically associated with art making. Yet many of these video documents lay no claim to the iconic status or regime of visibility of artworks; they simply seek to reframe and hence to lend art-specific visibility to practices and phenomena which otherwise would go undetected as art. This day-long seminar unpacked this paradox conceptually, curatorially and discursively, because it is all too easy to confound – as the art-critical establishment glibly does – video documents and video artworks. The focus will be on examples, with screenings of excerpts from videos various artists.

‘The First Murder’ by Vladimir Nikolic uses the Universal Studios showreels most watched real ‘media’ murder of the previous century where King Alexandre I Karađorđević of Serbia was murdered on October 9th 1934 in Marseille. In this split screen video he reconstructs the shooting using all the camera positions and angles, while projecting the original next to it. Fred Lonidier’s text appropriates the Communist Manifesto, taking the word religion and replacing it with the word art. Another example was the video entitled ‘Situation Leading to a Story’ by Matthew Buckingham, in which found footage is reedited into a voice over autobiographical narrative of him trying to find and track down the people who might have been the owners of the actual footage. ‘On Three Posters’ by Rabih Mrouré is a video of him explaining his work: a found videotape, a performance and three protagonists: the artist, a videotape of a martyr – a poiltical resistance fighter- is found and shows his rehearsal of the announcememt of his forthcoming death, commiting the act in front of the camera, and a politician. ‘Sometimes something political’ by Francis Alys, in Stephen’s words is a ‘Pollackesque performance’ of walking the ‘Green Line’. Palestine and Israel were divided up with a thick pencil on a map, therefore when blown up there are no precise boundaries. ‘Spring Story’ by Yang Zhenzong was filmed at the Siemens factory in China, taking the 1500 word speech of Deng Xiaoping’s plea for a new world order, only each word is spoken by different employees. Jakup Ferri, ‘An artist who cannot speak English is no artist’ denounces Anglo imperialism through an attempt to articulate his thoughts in a language he ostensively barely speaks, though what comes across makes no sense. Dan Graham rounded out the day with ‘Rock my Religion’.