We are in the fourth week of LIVING ROOM, section in which you can watch a selection of artists' videos without leaving your couch during this period of confinement.
This time, we present some videos realised by Claudia Larcher. They will remain accessible for one week, until April 30.
"Her work treats space as an explicit artistic topic in two ways: on the one hand as a reflection on the perception of space by the artist and the beholder, and also by reflecting the artistic and architectural reflections of others. This pro- cess of understanding is initially an intellectual act of self-location: in the artistic strategies of others, an act of contemplation. This is followed by her own work that decidedly engages with the artistic legacy of modernism and various post-modernisms and finally arrives at a digital transformation and thus in the present. Claudia Larcher consistently uses methods and techniques from early modern- ism and transfers them to the present.
The artist thus becomes a contemporary and links her work to the repertoire of modernist art history. Space becomes image, image becomes space. Experience becomes visual, the visual becomes a foundation for cognition and reflection and thus for new experience. In the works of Claudia Larcher, this is physical and sensual as well as intellectual and thus has the potential of linking outside and inside, history and present, memory and action, thought and feeling." (Verena Konrad )
Videoanimation, 2019, 7 min, full HD, stereo
Music by Alexander J. Eberhard
The German American architect Mies van der Rohe numbers among the most important representatives of classical modernism. His bold structures of glass and steel such as The New Gallery in Berlin have permanently changed the world of architecture.
Artist Claudia Larcher animates photographs of works by the influential architect in her Collapsing Mies. Vertical grid and frame structures in front of a black ground slowly but steadily slide into view. The palette of colors and forms is extremely reduced, visual accents provided by grey, blue and brown marble. The images steadily turn on a central vertical axis as they perpetually grow in number. A minimalistic electronic soundtrack by Alexander J. Eberhard increasingly telescopes in perfect synchronicity with the images. In a paradoxical play of forms the architectural photos are superimposed multiple times. While this makes it impossible to distinguish concrete buildings and objects, the formal language of van der Rohe's constructivist minimalism is clearly on display. Larcher uses shots of facades as well as interiors, collapsing distinctions between inside and outside.
The boundary between two- and three-dimensional space is also broken down. Two dimensional photographs of three-dimensional objects are virtually re-translated in an artificial 3-D space, as well as being layered in and atop one another. In this way, the artist renders a complex, multi-perspectival spatial structure while at the same time creating a minimalist abstract motion.
Mies van der Rohe's modernist dream of efficiency, transparency, and elegance is made manifest in this acutely compressed computer animation. His rationalistic aesthetic is wonderfully elucidated by way of Larcher's distillation and abstraction. With this highly aesthetic reflection upon architectural history, Larcher generates an experimental artwork of particular beauty resting on constructive logic and formal rigor. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)
2019, video, Full HD, 4 min, stereo
with the kind support of One World Foundation, Sri Lanka 2019
The film Dramatis Personae, as part of the project face2face, shows portraits with eight different carved wooden emoji masks.
These masks are known from social media like Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. They are used to underpin statements, but also replace verbal messages with images and thus become globally understandable.
Usually the emotions in the pictures seem to be exaggerated, as well as the world's most commonly used emoji "face with tears of joy" Unicode U+1F602.
The masks were created in November 2019 as part of the Artist in Residence Programme in cooperation with the one world foundation in Sri Lanka. The village of Ambalangoda on the western south coast of Sri Lanka is famous for its Sinhala mask carvers. Originally the masks were used by the population during dance rituals to drive away evil demons. The eight Emoji - wooden masks were made on site by the artist Claudia Larcher. The film portrait shows employees, residents and guests of the one world foundation.
The protagonists wear the three-dimensional emoji masks, which hide their identity but describe an emotional state, such as sad, happy, neutral, crying, winking etc.
Through the portrait with the mask the person is "protected" on the one hand but their emotional state is also concealed. Furthermore, hierarchies dissolve in the reception of the portraits when the gardener is equated with the hotel guests. Sri Lanka's colonial past also plays a role in the reception of the pictures.
The transfer of the digital tool "Emoji" into real space creates an irritation at first, perhaps a smile, but at second glance it is intended to question themes such as identity and representation in digital space as well as our everyday role models.
2018, video animation, 16:9, full HD, 6 min, stereo
Claudia Larcher frequently deals with architecture in her works. For example, she cuts catchy building parts out of photographs and combines them into multi-perspective collages in different media. In ORE, on the contrary, she falls back on natural formations. The video animation is an unbroken diagonal tracking shot. At the start, what one is being offered to look at isn´t clear. An irregular, crystalline relief in various tones of brown under a tender layer of clouds moves past the viewer. For lack of scale, the eye becomes lost in the abstract forms. Gradually, details surface that make it possible to guess that it is an aerial view of mountain ranges. Buildings and streets become recognizable. Without cuts, the landscape transforms noticeably, traces of mining ostentatiously appear. The transition between outdoors and indoors occurs seamlessly. Viewers suddenly find themselves again in a dark, cavernous labyrinth that is only partially illuminated by the lamps of moving flashlights. One becomes increasingly lost in the darkness and the films ends in black.
The soundtrack for the animation is composed of metallic blows that are clearly of human origin. The leaden hammering on different metals occurs in an imprecise, dull rhythm, thereby contrasting the entirely uniform movement of the computer animation.
In a sophisticated collage technique, the artist composes a huge, coherent tableaux from photos and video recordings of different mines. With her artistic vocabulary, she impressively documents how greatly humans have intervened in the Alpine landscape. In this sense, Larcher´s work is documentary while at the same time, highly aesthetic and artificial.