Eija-Liisa Ahtila (FIN), Hans op de Beeck (B), Jennifer & Kevin McCoy (USA), Hans Schabus (A), Smith/Stewart (GB) The exhibition attempts to bring together two tendencies which have come to the forefront of contemporary art and to investigate their structural significance – on the one hand the deepening involvement of art with cinematography and with the figures of narration which are typical of this medium, and on the other hand a concomitant and distinctly evident fascination with the unfathomable. It is interesting in this context that contemporary artistic discourse not only once again allows a certain opulence of staging, but also in a related critical stance conducts a discourse concerning the world it tells about from the almost romantic perspective of its constructed appearance of verisimilitude, behind whose surface of normality there lurk the noctural shadows of the uncanny and the incomprehensible. In the course of this investigation, there emerges into the forefront of artistic debate, in counterpoise to the search for a socio-political relevance of the artwork, the question as to the fragile relationship between the individual and reality. Proceeding from the discoveries of psychoanalysis, which under the aegis of Sigmund Freud made an essential contribution to the splitting-up of the ego and to its self-alienation, none other than the realm of the cozy and familiar appears increasingly as a dangerous and uncontrollable zone. The exhibition in the Kunstverein Hannover presents in this thematic orientation seven spaces by six to a maximum of eight international artists who link the physically perceptible, suggestive undertow of their installations to the experience of dislocation, solitude, disorientation and nocturnal unfathomability.
Soft Rains consists of multiple platforms. Each platform represents a familiar cinematic archetype or genre rendered in miniature (60s Arthouse, 70s horror etc). The miniature ‘heroine’ of the work, clad in a distinctive red dress, is pictured in each of the sets. The live feed from each video camera is connected to a computer-based video sequencer, which switches from one camera to another to create an edited sequence appearing as a large scale projection. Suburban Horror uses images inspired by David Lynch's film Blue Velvet and by John Carpenter's Friday the 13th.
The artists are rendered in miniature as if they were childhood friends and their fantasy scenarios are depicted. One is a simple country wedding ceremony, the other an epic mideval battle. The miniatures are fixed to either side of a vertically-oriented platform which is mounted on a floor-based stand. Live video cameras capture images of the unmoving tableaux, which are then sequenced by custom software into an endlessly looping live video sequence that is projected on the adjacent wall.