collaboration with Christof Kurzmann
„The power of the gaze manifests itself exactly in that, what can not be seen; the edges, that fall victim to the differentiating structure of the focusing view… Images first and foremost open up spaces. the imagination nearly exclusively succumbs to the order of space“ *
The artist group Boiled Frogs (musician Christof Kurzmann and video artist Michaela Grill) is exactly interested in these peripheral aspects of our perception in relation to the history and memory of specific places.
Scientists once conducted an experiment in which a living frog was placed in a pot of cold water and heated the water so slowly, that the frog would not attempt to jump out until it was too late. Of course, the frog boiled and died. It did not escape because it had adapted to the increasingly hot water and was unable to recognize imminent danger. In psychology, this phenomenon is known as sensory adaption. The frog´s ability to adapt to the slowly increasing temperature of the water led to its death.
Boiled Frogs creates site specific installations that question their own conditions, the performance space and conventions of audiovisual presentations by a spatially and narratively drifting staging. The question of „what is a real image“ is posed yet again. The image’s periphery, the mechanism of transference and the material itself are the main interest points. We examine and collect the specific materials locally. Image and sound doesn´t refer to each other directly, but complement each other, being structured formally along the same lines – in the perceiver’s cognitive perception apparatus.
The artwork produced tries to excavate the hidden history of the specific installation place . After a period of intense research on site. traces of the historical usage will be re-examined on the sonic and visual level and put into a new context. Thereby new meanings are generated and the audience sees the space in a „new light“. By exploring the threshold of perception and gradually enforcing the intensity of the interplay, the spectator becomes a protagonist of the artistic endeavor.
“ … place becomes time
space becomes mine
sometimes just drifting in a simple world …“
*Dietmar Kamper, German philosopher and sociologist, in: “ Bildstörungen – im Orbit des Imaginären (Schriftenreihe der Hochschule für staatliche Gestaltung)
** Psychic TV, British videoart and music group, in „Just drifting“ (Force the hand of chance – Some Bizarre/ WEA Records Ltd. 1982)
Curator: Christian Scheib
boiled frogs ist zuerst einmal als rauminstallation zu verstehen, die die eigenen bedingungen, die räumlichen gegebenheiten und die aufführungspraxis von ton- und bild-konzepten reflektiert. im Zentrum stehen hierbei begrifflichkeiten wie „arbeit-kunst“, „innen-aussen“, „autoren-publikum“, die durch eine räumlich wie erzählerisch „orientierungslose“ inszenierung, welche einer streunenden wahrnehmung des publikums platz gibt – untersucht werden sollen. durch die verwendung verschiedener projektions/reflexionsmaterialien wird noch einmal die frage nach dem richtigen bild aufgeworfen. die peripherie der bilder, die Übertragungsmechanismen und nicht zuletzt das material selbst wird zum mittelpunkt der aufmerksamkeit. ton und bild sind hierbei nicht inhaltlich miteinander verwoben, beziehen sich nicht direkt aufeinander, sondern ergänzen sich – an den formal gleichen linien ausgerichtet – erst in den betrachterinnen.
Curator: Roland Schöny
The main theme of this installation, conceived for O.K by the video artist Michaela Grill and the musician Christof Kurzmann, is a confrontation with the transformation of the meaning and the function of spatial situations. Following extensive research on site, their work deals the history of the O.K building, its different historical uses and the corresponding shifts of perception. The starting point for the dramaturgical progression within the exhibition situation, the arrangement of which is made possible with projections, sound, light and photo material, is the original function of the building as a school and thus also as a site of discipline, which reached its climax for the whole of society under the National-Socialist regime. By referring to the different temporal layers and traces in a building, Michaela Grill and Christof Kurzman relate different levels of meaning to one another, querying the design of surfaces of social representation and structures of order. On the one hand visitors are to be reminded of a historical past that is barely present today and its inherent structures of control. At the same time, though, within the framework of the installation „Place Becomes Time, Space Becomes Mine“ and in the contemporary field of the possibilities of free artistic design, they are led into a rigidly formalized situation that allows hardly any scope for deviation. With this current work Michaela Grill and Christof Kurzmann renew their dialogue and the analytical investigation of perception in exhibition spaces and locations of artistic and musical representation that they started in conjunction with the Musikprotokoll at the steirischer herbst 2002 with „boiled frogs“.
Sala Rosa Montréal/CAN, Urban Shaman Gallery Winnipeg/CAN
Stuttgarter Filmwinter/GER, Podewil Berlin/GER