press release

In the framework of the program Art in the New Field of Visibility and under the title Ready Media, The Netherlands Institute For Media Art presents an exhibition with works by 10 international artists: Pierre Bismuth, Heather & Patrick Burnett- Rose, Claude Closky, Sagi Groner, Sami Kallinen, Matthieu Laurette, Gabriel Lester, Anna Maltz, Cristi Pogacean, Julika Rudelius.

More information: Manifestation Art in the New Field of Visibility

The exhibition aims to explore the various intersections and complex interactions between image creation, production and communication, within the context of the debate about the role and the function of image in our society.

Coined in 1995, by the Kinema Ikon artists’ group, Ready Media concept was used to signalize the stereotypical visions induced by the media culture and the self evidence that surrounds the experience of seeing. Considering this concept as the most appropriate one to define the chameleonic visual synthesis of our time, the curator of the exhibition aims to critically approach this problematic, researching how these visual constructs reveal a new regime of image and artistic language. According to Maria Rus Bojan, Ready Media represents an artistic reality. Following the generalization and standardization of the ready-made aesthetic, we are witnessing now a substantive inversion of art, a complex dynamic which can be understood around two main vectors: on the one hand, a continued and renewed Duchampian aesthetic; on the other hand the traditional ways of expressing the human experience and social interaction overlaid with excessive information from a multiplicity of sources. Based on an increasingly sophisticated use of images, the Ready Media visual discourses juxtapose references from different contexts, different media, different historical periods and social experiences, weaving all these together into a texture which defines a symbolic construction with new visual qualities. Re-using the already valorized images or other elements from media, which in this context function as signs, artists create new semantic shifts, breaking up the “ready made” perceptions which media generates, making us also more aware about our own process of perception. The works selected for this exhibition reflect artists’ different strategies, attitudes and reactions to the generalized media experience. Media codifies the human and, in this context, escaping from its bondages, transcending its rules appears to be the only way of re-conquering freedom.

Works shown in Ready Media: Pierre Bismuth, Coming soon (2006) Heather and Patrick Burnett-Rose, Wargasm (2003) Claude Closky, Television (2003) Sagi Groner, FAQ (part 1)(2006) Matthieu Laurette, Déjà vu: The Second International Look-Alike Convention at Castello di Rivoli (2001) Gabriel Lester, Music for Riots and Fights (2005) Anna Maltz, Superman Suit. XXL (2000) Cristian Pogacean, Abduction from the Seraglio (2006) Julika Rudelius, Forever (2006)

Coming soon (2006) by Pierre Bismuth comprises a single screen color video montage of the last segments of film trailers. The focus of the piece is embodied in the iconic phrase 'Coming Soon,' which is typically used to announce the release of a film. By repeating this language, Bismuth presents a paradox to the viewer, as the words create an expectation that will never be fulfilled.

Wargasm is a work created by Patrick and Heather Burnett-Rose in early 2003, as Iraq War II (the sequel) was first showing. Recognizing the infrastructure of the powerful war discourse created by governments and perpetuated by a salacious mass media, the piece employs the very techniques used to propagate war to deconstruct it’s ‘symbolic organizing principles’. The work both uses and rejects documentary imagery and context, while applying an MTV-style editing collage to music and voice soundtracks.

Hello and welcome (2000) is a piece by Claude Closky especially conceived to be presented on a flat screen monitor. Appropriating those elements from media which illustrate the daily life norms of behavior, Closky aims to critically approach the conventional dichotomies that entrap us everyday. In this context, the smiling image “Hello and Welcome” functions as a new ornament, questioning also how sincere such a standard welcoming approach could be.

FAQ (part 1) (2006) is a video work by Sagi Groner made from sampled footage from fiction films, documentaries and archive footage. It is a journey in the footsteps of other makers, a 'nostalgic' remix of a collection of visual and audio 'quotes' from unrelated works. A 'new' story is woven together from 'old' impressions, pondering and re-meditating on questions such as love, images, poetry, science, war, history and death.

The Weeping Gallery (2006) by Sami Kallinen is a piece that consists of two elements: a web page that explains the project and collects video material from the public, plus a screen and server in a physical location that displays the material. It is a sort of You Tube museum, but displaying specific images of people crying for humanity. Seen as a social experiment, this project offers to everyone the possibility of making a personal statement. With the aim of exploring how willing people are to film themselves weeping, Sami Kallinen has built this special system to also investigate what kind of material the system will attract. The result is a surprising one: the footage finds the artist and not the other way around as usual.

Throughout all his look-alike conventions: Déjà Vu - London (2003); Vilnius, Lithuania (2003); Australia (2002); Seoul (2002); Turin (2001) and Paris (2000) – Matthieu Laurette has continued to explore the social dynamic of the show, the celebrity phenomenon, and their relation to art. Déjà vu: The Second International Look-Alike Convention at Castello di Rivoli (2001) is presented in a specific display in three stages: the posters commissioned by the artist after the event from local graphic designers, the press photographs taken by event press photographers and the “making of” video, shot by amateurs on-site.

For Music for Riots and Fight (2005) Gabriel Lester collaborated with the New York Public Library / Lincoln Public Center to research the silent movie scores and compositions archive. Together with piano player Adonis Gonzales, Gabriel Lester recorded twenty-one soundtrack compositions, written between 1899 and 1929. Compositions with such titles as 'Music for Fights and Riots' indicate that the soundtrack is in fact written for certain (possible) scenes in films, and not for one single, specific film alone. Sixteen of these recordings are compiled on a CD and function as an independent recording, as well as the document of a research for a performance piece. Since the selection of silent movie soundtracks - and for that matter, the whole area of musical composition for silent movies - seems to have been lost, discarded or forgotten, the CD and performance have become rare attempts to document some of the very rich and creative musical (and visual) compositions of the early twentieth century.

Combining elements of performance, photography, and knitting, Anna Maltz inserts in her projects a slightly disturbing sense of humor. The hand knitted Superman Suit. XXL (2000) is meant to fit everyone, but is never the perfect fit. Rather than mythic saviors, she prefers to interact with her everyday heroes whose antics in the suit she documents in photographic snapshots. The project started in 1999 and is ongoing, because everyone and every time is different, even in the same suit. Conceptually her work focuses on the multifaceted connotations of domesticity, handicraft, media pop culture icons and machine-produced art.

The Abduction from the Seraglio (2006) is a new work by Cristi Pogacean, which reveals in a conceptual manner the multitude of contradictions in our time. Using the oriental carpet as a frame and as a playground, the artist combines different references coming from different sources: from Mozart’s opera (with the same title) to the actuality of the Iraqi war, from the oriental myth of the magic carpet to harem fairy tales. By inserting the hyper-mediated image of the four Romanian journalists captured in Baghdad - the image was released by Al Jazeera Television- Pogacean brings the most acute global problems to the fore, framing the war as a media reality-show.

In her new video piece Forever, (2006) Julika Rudelius focuses on the idea of eternal beauty, underlining precisely those aspects of beauty which were exploited the most in the media. Investigating the behavior of different women with similar social backgrounds and their narcissistic approach toward themselves and in relation with others, Rudelius succeeds not only in making the portrait of a certain group from society, but also in denouncing the faked assumption that beauty can be related only to wealth and success. The artist employs a realistic, documentary style, which is based on everyday situations, but through a very personal strategy she switches from daily life directly into fiction just to underline better - and in a critical way - the cynicism and dehumanization of our society.

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Ready Media
Kurator: Maria Rus Bojan

mit Pierre Bismuth, Heather & Patrick Burnett-Rose (Heather Burnett), Claude Closky, Sagi Groner, Sami Kallinen, Matthieu Laurette, Gabriel Lester, Anna Maltz, Cristi Pogacean, Julika Rudelius