Mathias Poledna: Grazer Kunstverein. (Reviews - Graz).
The film showed a rock band rehearsing. Their music and equipment were reminiscent of '70s new wave, which serves Poledna as a matrix for a historical spectacle relevant today. The film sequence begins in darkness; we hear only the stumbling notes of a bass guitar. The drums join in; a beat forms, then breaks off. The camera pans across a Marshall amp, then across a man's head, shaved on the sides. The background is black; whenever the camera leaves one detail and before the next one appears, the screen goes dark again. The female drummer (new wave also stood for more women in rock) wears a blue-and-white striped T-shirt, sleeveless in the style of the time; just as typical is the guitarist's skinny tie. Concentrating, free of dramatic stage antics, the four--clearly dilettantish--musicians are memorizing a new song. The music recalls bands like Gang of Four or Wire--or the Red Krayola, who in fact originated the song fragments that the actors reinterpreted for Poledna's film. Music suggests immediacy, but th e path to it--the mediation of spontaneity--is the theme here.
The impression created by Actualite is that of a professional rock documentary. This "well-made" aspect contrasts with the aesthetic, strongly prevalent today, of hand-held cameras in narrative art videos. Poledna underscored the cinematic moment by projecting his film in a specially built "theater" within the gallery. The only other thing to be seen was a film poster. What Poledna offered was a historical display on pop culture. It remains up to us to piece the fragments of this history into a totalizing deja vu or to reevaluate them as a model for relevant artistic praxis. A group of artists, as this kind of workshop or studio situation shows, has to select one possibility of expression out of many. At the end, the beat begins to form again in the dark-ness, then breaks off. The loop starts again from the beginning--a metaphor for the history of pop, recurring in ever-new loops.
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2001|
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