SUPER 8 & Mysterema @ Künstlerhaus Bethanien, March 6th, 2012

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With the roots of video art intertwined with that of cinema, SUPER 8 derives its title from the mid-century motion picture film format of the same name. An artist-curated, video art exhibition organized by Christopher Grimes Gallery (based in Los Angeles). This ambitious video exhibition features the works of forty international contemporary artists.  Each week of SUPER 8 focuses on a different city: Berlin, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, and Tokyo, eight artists will curate a week’s worth of programming with fellow artists from their respective cities. Within that week, a day is dedicated to the work of one artist. In addition SUPER 8 contextualizes artist work within a global community of artists working in the same media. Through various approaches, from a variety of generations, SUPER 8 presents a cross section of this often misunderstood and underestimated form of art. During the opening, short excerpts were exhibited.

The excerpt correspond to “Dust defying gravity”, 2003 by Grace Weir, shown on Tuesday, 6th of March

Mysterema, by Gabrielle de Vietri is showing two new works: “Captcha” is an audiovisual projection for which the artist has combed the Internet painstakingly in search of so-called captchas – those obviously meaningless sequences of letters that we must type in to assure no machine-generated spam is sent out.

Vietri’s works are multimedia, using performance, video, photography and text. They often take the shape of small experiments, and illuminate the evolution of identity and patterns of human behaviour before the background of socio-cultural and philosophical issues. In the exhibition De Vietri has written down and categorised a large number of captchas and, on the basis of these word-creations, has written a narrative plot in the style of a fairy-tale or a fantasy novel. The story, spoken by a professional actor, can now be heard in the exhibition space; at the same time, more and more new, large-format captchas are projected onto the wall. Thus, plenty of space develops for the visitor’s own imagination and individual interpretations of de Vietri’s imagined story.

A second piece comprises two components: “Anonymous Lovers Discuss the Work of Cyprien Gaillard” is an audio work, for which the artist has recorded the conversations of a couple as they pass through a Cyprien Gaillard exhibition in Paris. In the Künstlerhaus she has supplemented this sound recording with “Karstadt Courting Chair”, a seat suitable for intimate conversation, set into an island of quiet in the room: visitors are invited to sit down and listen to the two unknown lovers’ conversation – not only about art but also about personal matters, feelings, shared memories etc., offering the viewer both a challenge and a chance to develop his own interpretations of those many suggested, fragmentary stories.

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