REFLECTIVE/PERSPECTIVE installation documentary

Danielle de Picciotto-web.jpg


Deutsches Filmmuseum
Schaumainkai 41 
60596 Frankfurt

Opening  6:30PM, March 11, 2015*
One view March 11 -  June 15, 2015

Featuring artists
Danielle di Picciotto
Jesse Fleming
Philipp Geist
Richard Jochum
Robert Seidel

Curated by Leo Kuelbs and Karl Erickson

*On the night of the opening, Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) will complement the show with a choice of film soundtracks from his oeuvre."

“Reflective/Perspective” explores observation through time, space, distance, language and composition.  Six different artists make use the “Verticale” surface of the German Film Museum in Frankfurt, allowing viewers five stories from which to view the show.  The site’s multiple perspectives integrates with the works, creating unique access opportunities and greater interactions. The unusual tall and narrow projection surface, vertical rather than the familiar horizontal, signals a shift in the viewers sense of the visual interactive experience.  The videos in “Reflective/Perspective” radicalize the viewers point of view, conflating near and far, high and low, exploring depth and distance and revealing deeper interconnections.

The artists in “Reflective/Perspective” are invested in depths and surfaces, and how changes in perspective alter meaning. Danielle de Picciotto dismantles the seemingly stable surface of architecture by folding images of a Detroit building from two different points of time onto themselves. This reveals the organic nature of architecture and how the distance of time affects our understanding of beauty, utility and morality.

Also dealing with perspectives of architecture, Eszter Szabó has assembled an virtual vertical housing block from real estate advertising photos. In her video Dispenser of Delights, she populates this photos of rooms with animations of the people she imagines would live there. The characters actions are reactions to and against the architecture, which is at once brutal and austere, striving to be made anew with a different vantage point.

Philipp Geist presents an uncanny angle to view our relation to the world: he immerses a camera in rivers and waterways of different cities around the world. The resultant turbulent vantage point shatters our normal stabile act of viewing, while allowing the viewer to glean bits of identifiable imagery. This visual imagery reveals how the waterway are treated in disparate locals, acknowledging their distance but reinforcing the connections of us to water and water to life.

From the depths of water, Jesse Fleming projection elevates our vision to the skies. Making use of three different viewpoints, Apart and Together follows a pigeon as part of a flock, isolated, and from the pigeon’s own perspective. The combined perspectives announce an intricacy of interplay between the group and the individual, allowing us to experience the beauty and terror of flight, isolation and group behavior.  

Robert Seidel has created a seemingly organic, interactive ecosystem in his projection Vitreous #2. The nine virtual sculptures pull towards one another, retreat, join and break. These  complex behaviours create a depth of space that is illusory yet illuminating, shedding light on how systems influence one another, and how the act of looking creates not just meaning, but life.

Richard Jochum’s projection Crossword asks these sorts of questions as well, but with tongue firmly in check, acknowledging that there are no easy answers before the queries can even be formed. Seemingly a banal crossword puzzle, Jochum’s video denies the power of trivia to alter our perspectives. Rather, it is only through pursuing the sort of thorny questions that have vexed philosophers across the ages that we can can new depths of understanding and the ability to honestly reflect on our place within.

-Leo Kuelbs and Karl Erickson

More about the artists and curators here.

Jesse Fleming Apart and Together Robert Seidel vitreous #2; Eszter Szabó, Dispenser of Delights; Danielle de Picciotto Reflective Perspective; Richard Jochum Crossword; Philipp Geist Riverine Zone

Click on the images below for full views of the individual videos.