'Staging Silence' is based around abstract, archetypal settings that lingered in the memory of the artist as the common denominator of the many similar public places he has experienced. The video images themselves are both ridiculous and serious, just like the eclectic mix of pictures in our minds. The decision to film in black and white heightens this ambiguity: the amateurish quality of the video invokes the legacy of slapstick, as well as the insidious suspense and latent derailment of film noir. The title refers to the staging of such dormant decors where, in the absence of people, the spectator can project himself as the lone protagonist.
Memory images are disproportionate mixtures of concrete information and fantasies, and in this film they materialise before the spectator's eyes through anonymous tinkering and improvising hands. Arms appear and disappear at random, manipulating banal objects, scale representations and artificial lighting into alienating yet recognizable locations. These places are no more or less than animated decors for possible stories, evocative visual propositions to the spectator. The film is accompanied by a score which, inspired by the images themselves, has been composed and performed by composer-musician Serge Lacroix.
Following The Armory Show, ‘Staging Silence’ will be presented at the Aichi Triennale 2010 (JP). The publication ‘Monitoring Scenography 3: Space and Desire’ (release late 2010/ early 2011), will include an in depth essay on the work.
In conjunction with this video-piece, Galerie Ron Mandos will showcase a new series of small charcoal drawings by Dutch artist Renie Spoelstra.
On the back of a trip to New England in the US, Renie Spoelstra has produced a startling set of drawings which signal a marked shift in subject matter. The artist has maintained her usual working process; first capturing landscapes on film and then selecting stills from which to start drawing. However following her visit to the north-eastern states of the US, which is known for its beautiful light and has a long history as film location (The Stepford Wives, What Lies Beneath, The Ice Storm, Wolf, etc...), her work has become permeated by new subject matter and novel locations embodying the same contained tension that so epitomises her work.
Renie Spoelstra has had a number of solo and group show presentations throughout the Netherlands and Europe and will soon be preparing for a presentation at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. 2008 saw her crowned the Dutch Artistic Talent of the Year and her work is included in a number of public collections, such as the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (NL), Centraal Museum in Utrecht (NL) and the MACBA in Barcelona.
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