B. Borčić: Creatures

The programme, entitled Creatures, forms part of the Videospotting project conceived as six separate one-hour programmes presenting the choice Slovene video production of the past five years in the form of thematic evenings: Bodyspotting, Creatures, Docu-art, Intolerance, Dancemania, Memories. These thematic evenings combine, relate and confront music video clips, art video, video dance, and documentary video projects which are usually sentenced to separated electronic lives of their own, even though video authors in Slovenia frequently work on more than one “genre”.

The Creatures programme consists of six video works by artists who originate in different artistic contexts and are engaged not only in video production: primarily they are visual artists, film or theatre directors, and designers. They use the video medium as one of their means of expression and frequently as a component part of their Gesamtkunstwerk practice.

The selected video works have one common characteristic: they all employ elaborated procedures of stratification of various visual materials, either by means of the chrome-key method or computer-generated images. The post-production process is crucial; the visual material in quickly alternating shots is adjusted to music, or vice versa. A human figure features in most of the videos, and the elements of performance are very prominent. The costumes, sets and props are notably operative in the creation of video image, and with hardly any exception they were made by the artists themselves.

All the video works deal with the concepts of Creature and Time, employing almost as manifold manners as could be perceived. Not only that the both concepts have been imposed upon humans and their perception of the World and Life, but they also both function through the mechanisms of representation. The artists have taken over the role of Creator, producing our notions about culture and nature (wherein nature is again culturally coded). They demonstrate or enact the relationship between machine and body. The mechanisation and repetition of the movement and behavior of the human protagonists is yet another mode of speaking about the Creature, the unknown, different, strange, alien, the Other (in relation to which a man/woman is constituted as an individual, as the Subject); the same goes for the computer-generated figures (The Model), the computer-animated geometrical forms from Kandinsky’s “Pictures From the Exhibition” (“First Surface – LADOMIR F AKTYPA”), and the “sci-fi” environments. The archaeological/anthropological view from the future to the past (“Forth Into the Past”) is used as a corrective of the acknowledged belief in the linear chain of historical progress.

The concept of Time – physical time, mechanical time, epistemological time – and History has been questioned also in other selected video works, which introduce another, yet perhaps never realised, bulk of possibilities. (Not a thing can exist without what could exist but never did or will.) The relation between time and space has been materialised in the movement of the clock hands which trigger the time machine, the journey to another world, not very different from the scene in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (Wirtschaft ist tot), and the rituals, past, present and future, have been fused without whatever chronological order (“Hydra”). Nonetheless, the mysterious creatures, the monsters, illustrate the reality by means of the incredible.

Barbara Borčić