Picture or image? The German language solves this lexical problem by providing only one word: Bild.
The exhibition BILDBILDER explores the transfer of visual information and its reconstruction to something new: a Bildbild. BILDBILDER sheds light on the visual and linguistic reconstruction of pictures. This reconstruction requires clear, reproducible criteria as used in the transformation of analogue into digital material or vice versa. It deprives the picture of its innocence of suchness and destroys its acceptance as an objective representation of (a) reality.
The whole world consists of Bildbilder. There is nothing but Bildbilder.
Nita Tandon: STANDARDWERK
Nita Tandon’s four-part Standardwerk is based on the photograph of a meat grinder produced by the company Standardwerk. The photograph has been reproduced by means of 10 × 10 mm plasticine squares stuck on a pane of glass. These pixel-like squares constitute the picture.
The artist has reproduced the picture three times, relying on different methods in producing the colours for the individual “pixels.” The first method involved converting the CMYK values of the various pixels’ colours into grams and mixing the corresponding quantities of plasticine in a meat grinder to obtain the respective colour. Tandon repeated this process with RGB values for the second reproduction, whereas she relied on her eye for reproducing the colours in the third case.
A sketch showing how the artist segmented the picture, rounds off the three methodical reproductions of the original picture.
Daniel Wisser: MARMOR
Nothing is projected on the screen to be found in the exact place where the screen of a cinema once located in the Nestroyhof was installed. Daniel Wisser stands in front of the screen and recites short texts of three to eight sentences in twenty-minute loops: the texts are fictitious, based on historical newspaper reports.
The focus is on the absence and negation of past events. One of the texts, for example, deals with the screening of the film The Astronomer’s Dream, which is considered to be lost, in Vienna’s Kolosseum Cinema on January 24, 1900. That the projector caught fire while the film was screened fueled the skepsis toward the new medium.
The texts also revise historical views. We learn, for example, that Josef Ressel, generally known as the inventor of the ship’s propeller today, was actually a forester without a forest and saw his invention attributed to other persons. Another text describes the passionate protests against the building of the Eiffel Tower; the author Guy de Maupassant for example, is said to have left Paris because he felt that the view of the city with the tower was too much for him. Oskar Marmorek, the architect who built the Nestroyhof, also features in the texts.
One of the fourteen texts that make up the loop is changed every day with only the title text remaining. No two loops are identical: so the loop alluding to the video loops in exhibitions turns out to be no loop after all.