Kjersti Sundland , Habitat, video dvd 9', 2004
curated by Alessandra Pioselli
October 15, 2003 - January 14, 2004
''...Habitat (2004) is a video-installation formed from one video projected in full scale on two screens and from a series of drawings. Habitat is an ambiguous place. The first sequence shows a room: a man sleeps, a dog rests, a TV on transmits distorted signals. The video camera slides slowly, as a pendulum, from end to end of the room. The sequence, constructed through four different videos of the same scene, pasted together, gives the effect of one panoramic image. At a certain point the video camera approaches the screen of TV that becomes all field: the distorted signal that it transmitted is realized in the image of a public place shared from men and animals by people, but the scene is disturbed, dirty, like if the signal arrives intermittency from an electronic surveillance. The atmosphere is in suspense. A sense of restlessness and uncertainty pervades it. Men and animals do not touch each other, they are not watch each other, even if they stay in the same temporal space dimension. A thin thread, an impalpable indication, passes one another. In the oneiric and television dimension there is not no distinction between kind and identity. The scene is realized putting together images of the Zoo and the underground of Berlin. The background noise is a mix of sounds, records in these places, and on it are detached the voices of a woman and a man that allude to a perhaps drowned person. Again the video camera returns in the room. The television continues to send interferences, the man and the dog continue sleeping. The video is in loop.
The videocamera, that passes from the man to the dog, that hesitates like if it wants to dig in the dreams seems a spy in slow but implacable walk solemnly. Kjersti Sundland uses the "special effects" not only for giving birth to inadequate reality but in order to carry out the adulterating power of the means of elaboration and spread of the pictures. In Habitat there is the impression to stay under the control of a "indiscreet eye". In full scale, the images make sure the spectator’s-voyeur look identifies at the same time with the searching look of the video camera.
The ambiguity between manipulated images and reality is a typical element of the Kjersti Sundland’s visual language. In Habitat the artist develops a reflection about the technology, already present in the previous video where " characters", created with the computer, acted within artificial landscapes caging and modelling them in hybrid half human and half animal reality, forced in stereotyped behaviours, in false and virtual worlds, prey of incorrect drives, sometimes alluring and seductive...''
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