Data sheet (Event):
|reactions to re-enactments|
|Title of event|
RE CONSTITUTIONS/RE ENACTMENTS
DHC/ART Fondation pour l'art contemporain/ Foundation for Contemporary Art
|Type of event
2- Documentation of media art
Observer: Janet Rothney
For its second show, the impressive, privately funded DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art brings together the work of six artists exploring the idea of re-enactment. As the curator John Zeppetelli puts it, “To critically re-enact, as all the artists in this exhibition do, is to breathe new life into a cultural text in an attempt to offer a renewed aesthetic and political experience."
Paul Pfeiffer’s piece, “Live from Neverland” (2007), located in the satellite space of DHC at 468 St-Jean, consists of two linked views of the same speech given by Michael Jackson in response to allegations pf child molestation. On one screen plays the original video of the speech, showing Jackson’s face and shoulders in the style of a newscast, a 'talking head'. Just around the corner a larger projection of a Greek chorus of 80 children recite the text of Jackson’s speech. The two representations are synched so that they speak almost as one, using the same intonation and pauses. The viewer is physically caught in between the two images, forced to look back and forth between them. Not only is this a re-enactment of the original speech given by Jackson, it is a re-interpretation and a re-contextualization of the event, and functions to bring the original forward in time to the present.
The idea of bringing something forward in time and social memory is especially present in Stan Douglas’ piece in the show, “Inconsolable Memories” (2005), also situated at 468 St-Jean. The artist has spliced the 1968 film, “Memories of Underdevelopment” into a loop with a subtly changing storyline.
The space of DHC/ART has been very well adapted to suit the needs of this show. Housing this many digital works in a large, open gallery space would be very difficult. But at DHC, nearly every piece is given its own floor (in the main space at 451 St-Jean), or room (at 468 St-Jean). There is very little feedback between experiences, a happy and unusual occurrence.
[Online] (Page consulted on March 4, 2008)