dinsdag 16 september 2014

Medium Religion


Exhibition in ZKM I visited a couple of years ago.

1st Light, 2005

Since particularly 9/11 and the war in Iraq, Paul Chan has become a key figure in the American art scene as well as in political activism. As part of the series The 7 Lights, the computer-animated video 1st Light describes a vision of Biblical elation – the ascending of the believers to Heaven – making reference to 9/11. The floor projection shows shadowy silhouettes of bodies and everyday objects falling to the ground and equally rising towards the sky. This evokes the 1969 images of floating astronauts as much as those of bodies tumbling from the burning towers – iconic images of hope and terror, of utopia and the apocalypse merge. They show how Chan's deconstructivist critique of civilisation rests on the idea that a random happiness is possible.

Paul Chan, * 1973 in Hong Kong (CN, formerly GB), lives and works in New York (USA)

mΛ, 2008

The exterior projection of mΛ shows eight young women in Iranian school uniforms standing in a row before a blue backdrop. They slowly close their eyes and dissolve into the blue of the curtain. The rocking chair in the interior is a play on an unadorned "throne," and the television set shows a 6-year-old professional mourner weeping bitterly. mΛ reflects the role of the media, television in particular; how it has in general, and in a motherly way, substituted religion and particularly the Pastor, and how religion, once considered as "the opium of the masses", has become the opium of a religious media-based state and its masses. The Persian word for curtain, pardé, carries equally the meanings of screen, hymen and shroud. The blue pardé refers both to the blue box technique and various mise-en-scènes used in Iran's political visual system of representation.
The installation mΛ is oriented towards Mecca.

Barbad Golshiri, * 1982 in Tehran (IR), lives and works in Tehran (IR)

Boris Groys

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