Choreography # 2
1-channel video. 7 minutes
The video is the second part of the trilogy Choreography. This series reflects on the legacy inherited from the Modernity in the Western World, with its promise of civilization and emancipation through rationality and knowledge. The videos take place in old factories, “cathedrals of progress” that are currently abandoned. Those spaces, which marked the beginning of the industrial period and together with this the expansion of capitalism, are portrayed as stages of the failure, of the disillusion of an unfulfilled commitment. Reason, which was the mechanism that was supposed to guarantee “evolution” is manifested in the artworks through a Beckettian language that frustrates each attempt of creating sense. The spectator is immersed in a silent dialogue based on absence and assumptions which he/she tries to turn into a story. Like ritualized gestures, each question is followed by an answer that generates another question. The use of the filmic resource of subtitles – which normally refer to the translation from one language to another – creates tension between the word and its visualization. By connecting the written word with abandoned factories, the trilogy makes the rupture between language and content visible. In Choreography (from Latin, to write with dance) inert bodies agree upon a dystopic form of communication based on the failing of language to bring us together, to make us feel less alone, to allow us to understand each other. It is the impossibility of communication that is being staged and the need to keep speaking, despite everything.
Awarded with the Credit Suisse Förderpreis Videokunst. The video is part of the collection of the Kunstmuseum Bern.
Stine Eriksen/Valeria Schwarz
Arturo Martínez Steele and Josep Maynou
Arturo Martínez Steele
Berlin, GER, 2015