OA1979-3-5-036 after Take Hiratsugi, Gozen Hiinagata (Dress Pattern for Noble Ladies), ca. 1690, 2007
16mm film, b&w, 213 m loop, silent, 17 mins
OA1979-3-5-036 transforms a 17th century Japanese book by Take Hiratsugi into a 16 mm animated film. Gozen Hiinagata (Dress Pattern for Noble Ladies) is one part of a multi-volume clothes-pattern catalog including examples of the earliest kimono designs. The motifs used in the book’s woodblock prints generally consist of outlines that are designed to make it easy for the book’s purchasers to copy the patterns. In the film these patterns are selected, simplified, and rearranged. For this purpose, the book was first rotated by 90 degrees and then transferred in negative form to a timeline. The cuts in the film indicate the turning of the book’s pages. The forms resulting from this treatment are products of a process of reduction, ultimately creating a typology of the fragmented graphic elements which had appeared in the book, one that is abstracted from their original incarnations as floral and landscape imagery, everyday objects and architectural details.
Expressiver Rhythmus, 2010-11
digital projection of a 35mm film, color, sound, 28 min, loop, edition of 4 + 1AP
The film installation Expressiver Rhythmus is based on the idea of an abstract picture being the departure point for a film. It refers to a gouache of the same name by Alexander Rodchenko dating 1943/44. Rodchenko’s work is a striking predecessor of Jackson Pollock’s painterly style and solitary testimony to the relationship between gestural abstraction, automatism and trauma.
In the early 1930s, in Karelia (Northwest Russia) Rodchenko produced non-illusionistic photographs of empty landscapes and tangled vegetation, representing the direct visual point of reference for the filmic treatment. The issue of the Stalinist propaganda newspaper USSR Under Construction for which Rodchenko was working as a photographer in Karelia, documenting the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal, was included in the film installation at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna.
Whilst Rodchenko’s photographs heralded a dark side to classic Modernism, one also appearing in the abstract painting Expressiver Rhythmus, the music of the American composer Charles Ives, especially Concord, Mass., 1840-1860, was an evocation of Jackson Pollock’s perception of nature and abstraction from an earlier point in history. The 35 mm film installation is a montage of landscape shots from Karelia, and piano studies written for this project by the pianist and conductor Marino Formenti based on two compositions by Charles Ives.