Current exhibitions

Current exhibitions

Centre pour l’image contemporaine, Saint-Gervais Geneva

© Charles Sandison, Good and Evil, 2004

March 1, 2006

Charles Sandison: Received Text

Sylvie Boisseau and Frank Westermeyer: Copy and Paste, 2005

2 February to 2 April 2006
Show Run 1 February from 6:00 pm

Centre pour limage contemporaine, Saint-Gervais Geneva
5, rue du Temple
1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Charles Sandison Received Text

Charles Sandison is fascinated by all kinds of theories, be they biological, physical, medical, political, linguistic or other. His attention is particularly drawn to the communication systems they establish and the powers they put in place. Seizing on these theories, he writes a computer program that simulates their application and offers us an in-depth reflection on the territorialization of knowledge and power.

Sandisons works look like this:
Generated by a computer program, words or signs are projected in a darkened location. These move about individually or in groups, chase one another, organize themselves into patterns, wage war among themselves, absorb, stimulate and reject each other, are transformed, and cluster, forever redrawing the borders of a territory where the connections are constantly renewed. The works are installed on site and both adapt to the venues architecture and sculpt its space at the same time as the traces of light hug any surface they encounter.

Viewers are invited to immerse themselves in the darkness and wander among the words and signs, serving for the occasion as a surface for the projection. Over and over they recompose phrases by filling in the blanks with verbs, or dream up improbable connections, or even let themselves be swept away by the pleasing ballet of light beams and captivated by the strategic movements of these signs. Submerged though not absorbed, they perform different linguistic operations, from the metaphorical to the concrete, and by turns experience these words as objects, traces of light, or even signifiers; they observe the advancement, and hence the influence or dominance, of some words at the expense of others, or interpret them according to their own personal codes.

Despite a simplicity that seems to polarize or caricature connections, the words (good, evil, love, hate, male, female, etc.) construct infinite networks of meaning, which the mind criticizes but which the imagination seizes upon to make them visible in ones inner world.

Sylvie Boisseau and Frank Westermeyer Copy and Paste, 2005

The installation Copy and Paste presented by Sylvie Boisseau and Frank Westermeyer comprises three screened videos. In the first, a man wielding a red flag is shown trying to direct cars towards parking spots. In the second, we see Frank Westermeyer reproduce the same activity at the same place.

The third video, however, actually takes place in two parts and uses the blue screen technique (also known as bluescreening and blue box): an action is filmed against a uniformly blue background, then is carved out, i.e., processed out to be projected, now shorn of its original context, in a different setting.

In Copy and Paste, a street in Geneva serves as a background on which visitors to the exhibition are overlaid as they are filmed live using the blue screen technique in the venue. To do this of course, visitors have to play along with the proposed game. They are invited to grab a red flag and wave it, imitating the gestures of the two men who figure in the two other videos.

This device gives full meaning to copy and paste, which of course refers to the process widely used in the world of computers. The process, transmitted from machine to man, is shifted to a broader context and is transformed into a way of being in this case. We copy/we imitate, we paste/we adapt. Viewers copy by imitation and their recopied gestures are literally pasted in, displaced in a different environment which they are adapted to.

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Centre pour l’image contemporaine, Saint-Gervais Geneva
March 1, 2006

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