17.02.18 – 08.04.18
Filmmaker and installation artist Nida Sinnokrot (1971, USA) presents a series of sculptural and cinematic installations in KIOSK, that is blacked out completely for the occasion. All of them speak of the history, representation or political potential of technology.
The photographic and cinematographic equipment we see at work here, was carefully dissected and (dis)assembled beforehand. By rethinking their appearance, Sinnokrot also lays open the machinery at the heart of mass media like film and photography, giving rise to a new imaginary space. Linear time, fixed perspective or other codes of viewing that we associate with traditional montage, the lens or the projection screen, are disrupted. Several layers of implicit meaning come together in a single powerful, abstract image or poetic experience.
Brought together under the title Exquisite Rotation, these works combine into a reciprocally affecting movement of image, light and sound. The spectators are an essential part of this gesture: in their turn, they trigger the appearance and disappearance of the images themselves. As such, Exquisite Rotation primarily reveals to us the mechanisms behind images.
In When Her Eyes Lifted (1998/1999), the central installation in the dome room, moving images are projected horizontally instead of vertically, and the projection speed is determined by the interaction with the viewers. With each movement, the film registers scratches, starting an irreversible process of deterioration. This ‘horizontal cinema’ was conceived from Sinnokrot’s desire to address the material reality of violence and its mediation, manipulation and circulation through technology: “This violence is reflected in the machine itself and the relationship between trauma and perception is materialized in its clash of technologies and systems. It’s cinema and war. It’s the experience of dispossessed and displaced peoples.”
The work confronts us with a shattered reality, one that may in fact be more attuned to our actual experience of time and space than linear causal narratives. Cinema reproduces not only reality, it also creates meaning, disseminating it at unrivalled speed. Against this dominant, one-sided narrative, Sinnokrot posits a multitude of critical, alternative narrative forms. Speaking of displacement and the relationship between technology and colonialism, Sinnokrot’s camera also expresses something of the maker’s own hybrid identity. Sinnokrot is currently based in Jerusalem but, as the son of Palestinian parents, he spent his childhood in Algeria and moved to the United States as a teenager.
From the dome room, we look back at the other installations, or at least the insinuations they leave behind. Like most of the works, Crack (2008) refers to the essence of the work in its title: a landscape is created with nothing more than a cracked lens, a slide projector and light. Untitled Shutter (1999) exists only in the act of approaching it. Silver Screen / Golden Dome (2018) is a cut in the projection screen, like a sunset perhaps, but seen from the lens’ perspective it becomes the golden Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. In the side room, the gilded manuscript Exquisite Rotation (2015) is presented open on a lectern. Microphones, ventilators and a spotlight animate the unwritten book. We see, hear and feel the wind leaf through the sheets of paper, cursory at times, then more slowly again, like a story that is gradually completing itself.
exhibition text / press release / poster / © images: Tom Callemin