Thursday, June 30, 2011

Levels of Disturbance

Onassis Cultural Centre
Athens, Greece

March 15 - June 30, 2011

“Levels of Disturbance” 2009-2011
Single channel video projection, color and sound, loop
Jenny Marketou

“We forget too soon the things we thought we could never forget” writes Jean Didion.

Although we are all bombarded by seemingly endless amounts of imagery and “news”, I am convinced that we are also all suffering from information deprivation, and in a multiplicity of ways. While media conglomerates and government powers shield information from us continually – and spin the information that we are being fed – I think we are also all guilty of collectively forgetting our histories. Information is ignored even when we have access to it. Certain things are just too difficult to face. Government handouts, unregulated corporations, corporate takeovers of the media and of the government, industry’s devastation of the environment… These are very old stories. Why should these things surprise us when they continue to happen?

“Levels of Disturbance” is a single channel video projection, which is usually shown projected from floor to ceiling on the end wall of a long corridor where the viewer experiences an extreme perpetual suspension and disturbance while he /she walks and watches the animate projected image. The television works of German novelist and filmmaker Alexander Kluge (1980) are a departure point of my work.

The material for video for “ Levels of Disturbance” has been shot over a week’s period from an aerial view distance while I was flying over the town of Los Alamos and it was conceived during the period of my artist in residence at the Center of Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the fall of 2009.

Los Alamos which currently stands as a national monument and a tourist attraction is still contaminated by the nuclear waste and by turbulent human emotions going back to the late 40’s when Los Alamos is the most secret city in the world; the home of the renowned scientific community, known as the laboratory of the Manhattan Project where a weapon of incredible power, the atomic bomb has been produced and tested.

During montage the recorded aerial views of the breathtaking landscapes has been edited frame by frame into a slide show and has been used as a backdrop over which is imposed a red round shape which evocatively symbolizes the standardized measuring principles used for all natural phenomena. The two layers cycle assembled in a continuous flow of rotations and transformations through the use of computer animated graphics which take their rhythm from the ambient soundtrack composed by the sound of the propeller of a plane. The constant red color ripples of the circle seems as a powerful way to divert the viewer’s gaze on the surface of the image and intentionally abstracts and distorts any passage to the landscape, and information is intentionally fragmented, abstracted and distorted.

The reason I set up “Levels of Disturbance” this way is to test the rhetoric of cultural and historical amnesia in contemporary images. Amnesia forms a vast territory of disintegrating or disappeared information. In an effort to map this sea of mind my video “Levels of Disturbance” explores one of the major themes related to the loss of memory and history which is the deliberate suppression of memory by a society, the loss, confusion, destruction of information or alteration of a culture’s record of itself and investigates how technological mediation produces specific qualities in the images which erase memory, create disorientation, influence knowledge.

Jenny Marketou
New York City
March 21,2011

No comments:

Post a Comment