Helsinki, Kiasma Nykytaiteen museo

Interactive video installation for 3 video-projectors.
3 video loops, 5 mn 02, 10 mn 10 and 10 mn.

The installation is made up of three film montages presented in Kiasma’s multimedia library. Each montage consists of a series of superimposed images that associates an extract from Marnie with a painting from the Dutch School which has inspired it (The Philosopher in Meditation by Rembrandt van Rijn, Interior of the St Jacob church in Utrecht by Pieter Saenredam and Banquet Still-Life by Abraham van Beyeren). The montages play on different levels of back projection and scale of the interconnected images.

At the heart of the two first montages the themes introduced by The Philosopher in Meditation and Interior of the St Jacob church in Utrecht stress the idea of spirituality diffused within the Image, which is revealed in Hitchcock through the various superimposing effects. Thought and mysticism are presented within as elements that give structure to representation in a way reminiscent of Rembrandt’s staircase, which is an extension of the philosopher’s reflections, or of Saenredam’s use of perspective in the architecture of the church, which reflects the depth of religious convictions in those who enter there to experience them. Through the representation of a collection of precious metal objects and dishes on a silver tray, the still life by Abraham van Beyeren plays even more on the idea of an opulence contained within Hitchcock’s shots. By superimposing images in such a way that motifs of the painting take precedence through the exposure of more and more specific details shown at ever larger scales, the montage follows a logic of profusion which enables the treasures of the pictorial composition to invade the entire frame. In this third module the analytical process instigated by the superimposing initiates a process of visual enrichment which ends up both having a deep impact on a visitor’s perception and overflowing beyond the image. It is presented as a source of constant wonder that the development of parallel proposals renders limitless.

The composition of the Image, which doubly stresses the techniques of superimposing used in the montages and the painting’s representations of architectural motifs confronted with the Hitchcock screenshots, is presented in each of the modules of the installation as an element which determines both the ideas it conveys and the repercussions that it can have on a visitor’s gaze. The structuring of the work of art generates thought processes and confers on them an undeniable depth, which is the subject that this installation explores.

The installation operates other techniques of back projection and superimposing effects. The montages are exposed to certain locations in the museum which have been selected so that the composition of the images they resemble are in harmony with the architecture of the place where they are presented. A window series takes up the perspective of a stable that the characters from Marnie enter before it is substituted with the interior of the St Jacob church in Utrecht. The structure of a spiral staircase placed at the level of the auditorium converses with the staircase in The Philosopher in Meditation and is an extension of the staircase at the Rutland’s residence in Wykwyn. Here it is something that unfurls beyond the surface of the projection and crystallises beyond the Image to emphasise the extreme density of the Image.

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Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet