Aikaterini Gegisian

Aikaterini Gegisian, Third Person (Plural), screenshot, essay film, work in progress, 2018.

Third Person (Plural)

Third Person (Plural) is a project based on archival research on popular culture, fieldwork and public engagement, resulting in the production of a series of film episodes that would (when joint-together) compose a feature-length essay film.

Motivated by the recent rise of nationalist and isolationist narratives, in what is dominantly described as the western-developed world, the project deconstructs, by casting a female gaze, the ‘image’ of Europe, in order to explore how diverse popular image cultures are implicated in the production of national and supranational imaginations. Taking as its starting point the moment after WW2 and the historical processes of establishing a ‘United’ Europe as reported in USA newsreels and represented in USA government documentaries, Third Person (Plural) anchors itself on such archival material (collected through a 6-month Research Fellowship at the Library of Congress) and brings them into dialogue with the recent Brexit and Grexit debates.

During the Fellowship at Buechsenhausen, Gegisian will begin with the deconstruction of the 120 newsreels, thousands of newsreels paper announcements and 50 USA government documentaries already collected. Reflecting on the format of the newsreel, her work will follow an episodic structure that will bring together a series of thematic reports. However, the joining together of these thematic reports will not track a strict historical order but rather will be based on a temporal dislocation of the chronological newsreel and on a spatial destabilisation of the global narratives that they highlight. The editing process will involve deconstructing both the footage collected but also the newsreel paper announcements and the short descriptions accompanying them. The latter will be treated not only as factual evidence but also as speculative texts. Based on found material, derived from a variety of sources and blending documentary, observational footage and surrealist associative thinking, the overall guiding principle of Third Person (Plural) will be a feminist rereading of the deconstructing material, highlighting the absence of women from the historical decision-making process.

Text source: Aikaterini Gegisian

Aikaterini GEGISIAN is an artist of Greek-Armenian heritage who lives and works in the UK and Greece. Building on her contribution to the Armenian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015 Golden Lion for best national participation), she has over the past two years developed a series of new commissions exploring the role of images in the construction of national and gendered identities, amongst others: Jewish Museum, Moscow; National Arts Museum of China, Beijing; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; BALTIC, Newcastle; Calvert 22 Foundation, London; Kunsthalle Osnabruck; DEPO, Istanbul; Yermilov Centre, Ukraine. During 2018 she was a Research Fellow at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. Gegisian was Büchsenhausen Fellow in 2018-2019.