Of(f) the Ground
As part of her work in the context of the Fellowship Program, artist Marianna Christofides is showing two of her essay-films related to her artistic investigations at Büchsenhausen and other associated materials.
Deer in the Park (24’40 min., 2017) combines the sense of threat emanating from earthquakes and natural catastrophes like typhoons with the emotions of exposure, uncertainty and withdrawal experienced in exile. The example used is German architect and urban planner Bruno Taut, who fled from the Nazis and emigrated to Japan. Taking its viewers on a partly visual, partly essayistic journey, the work comprises a poetic collage from diverse sources: film recordings, historic press images and slides from the artist’s collection are interwoven with archive photographs and excerpts from Bruno Taut’s diary.
Shelter Cove (13 min, 2 channel video, 2015) juxtaposes two encounters on a road trip along the seam of the North American and Pacific Plates – the San Andreas Fault in California – and touches on questions regarding man’s union with nature and the dichotomy of protection and threat, being-at-home and being-at-somebody’s/something’s mercy, with uncertainty as a latent, ever existing inner state. Images from the garden of ‘La Miniatura’, a residential house in Pasadena designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, are coupled with those of a kayak anglers’ competition in Shelter Cove in northern California – at the point where the San Andreas Fault Line leaves the mainland and all traces of it vanish in the Pacific Ocean.
Sediments of history are manifest in present-day micro-histories, which tell of places and people and their vulnerability. The network of global interdependencies means that an earthquake in California – beyond coordinates – develops immediate proximity. In face of the world’s increasing instability, the film examines the uncanny sense of angst as a fear of what is possible.
Marianna CHRISTOFIDES is an artist originally from Cyprus who lives in Berlin. In her film essays and filmic installations, she focuses on the juxtaposition of geological with socio-historical narratives, and the (mis)use of the notion of nature as a justifying argument towards contingent cultural facts. Since 2009, Christofides has exhibited extensively internationally and presented her films at numerous film festivals in Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include Parkfield Studies at the Temporary Gallery, Cologne (2017), Shelter Cove at Annaelle Gallery, Stockholm (2016), and Perennial Limbo at waterside contemporary, London. Most recent group shows have been Viaggio in Sicilia, Salinas Archaeological Museum, Palermo (2017), Dejima. Concepts of In- and Exclusion, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (2017), Terra Mediterranea: In Action, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Nicosia (2017), and Uncertain States. Artistic strategies in States of Emergency / Uncertain States. Künstlerisches Handeln in Ausnahmezuständen, Akademie der Künste Berlin (2016). In 2011, Christofides co-represented Cyprus at the 54th Biennale in Venice (together with Elizabeth Hoak-Doering).
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