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Florian and Michael Quistrebert

Amnesic Cinema and Whispering Pines 9

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Artist
Florian and Michael Quistrebert
Title
Amnesic Cinema and Whispering Pines 9
Year
2011
Format & Technical

Thre monitor, Colour, SD video
Time 2:11/ 4:08/ 5:03

LOOP Edition
Ed. 2012
Presented in LOOP by
Galerie Crèvecoeur

«At first look, Florian & Michael Quistrebert’s «Amnesic CisenmA» films are choreographed as kinetic perfor- mances of basic geometric shapes. A circle, a square, or a lozenge form the basic individual components and starting points of each respective work. The artists exclusively draw on readily available, low-tech materials, which they process in what are today anachronistic, analogue methods. In the video installation amnesic cisenma, for example, the simple shot of a white (studio) wall serves as the initial starting point – because it is readily available within the working pro- cess – and as the ground upon which the geometric forms are “produced”. The dimensions and proportions of each basic shape are based on the length and width of the monitor. Initially the videos seem to be guided by an inner logic of reciprocity within the image, by the principles of inversion and mirroring pictorial relationships. Each form encounters its inverse counterpart. Black meets white; light alternates with dark. In addition, the artists work with the scaling and replication of the initial form. The variations and executions of the motif are consistently drawn toward the center of the screen. The pictorial space’s resulting crystalline, reflective quality gradually overwhelms the viewer’s perception. The ephemeral sequencing of forms and structures develops into an almost stroboscopic pulsation. The interplay of trans- parency and opacity and the way elements gravitate toward the center of the image help transcend the visual medium of the screen. The cross-referential interplay of the three monitors, which are separately positioned, bring about another type of perceptive overload; instead of focusing on the individual monitors, the viewer’s gaze is lost in the contingent interaction of the asynchronous moving images. The focus thus shifts from the structural performance of forms to a cross-referencing of visual sequences. In contrast to the initial clarity of the work’s geometric appearance, the viewer is drawn into a diffuse and veritably hallucinatory visual space in which all perceptual authority and certainty is voided.

Both in terms of their geometric, constructivist/futuristic formal language as well as their use of analogue image pro- cessing through montage, collage, variation and iteration, Florian & Michael Quistrebert draw on the visual techniques and aesthetics of the avant-garde. Their works are to be understood less as reflexive of perceptual processes and are instead to be read as the unsettling semiotic-referential interrogation of the formal language of the avant- garde and its politicization. In an utterly ambivalent manner, both captivating and alienating, affirmative and critically reflective, Florian & Michael Quistrebert’s videos point to a dimension of the unfathomable. Their works steer their gaze toward the repressed and unconscious aspects of modernism, the realm of the phantasmic and irrational, or even the occult. The films seem to hypnotize viewers, as if seeking to draw them in and put them in a state of visual pleasure or intoxication. However, a fascination for the mechanical in amnesic cisenma leads nowhere; this is a reference to the vacuum that constructivist formal language has left behind in the form of unredeemed promises – for example, the notion of the relationship between art and life or a better, more egalitarian society, etc.»

David Komary, Curator of « Undisciplined oscillator», Gallery Stadtpark, Krems. Austria.

Stills