far from lost close to found, 2006
installation view, rocket projects, miami, fl
continuous loop dual channel dvd projection
far from lost close to found, 2005
installation view, codependent at the living room ArtBasel, miami, fl
continuous loop dual channel dvd
30 drawings, 1 seconds worth
An installation of video and time based drawings that translate one second of video into a narrative sequence.
For the past five years Diana Shpungin and I have worked in exclusive collaboration. We create large scale site specific performance based video installations. As a case study our work documents the growth of both a friendship and working partnership between two women. Artistically it is a process of negotiating ego and authorship and thematically a mapping of both love and hate. We began our collaborative series at the start of our friendship. The development and transformation of our relationship is reflected in the subject matter and in the making process of the work. Living in different cities and travelling to various locals has provided a unique working relationship, which has brought new and interesting ideas to our work.
As a reflection of our change in place, the subject of time has become an imbedded theme. We are fascinated with the manipulation of time through the medium of video. We often play with speed as a visual technique. The final footage is looped to create infinite narratives or what we refer to as video sculptures. This process abstracts the original performance and offers new interpretations to our actions.
Presently we are re-examining our relationship to the digital video medium by dissecting our processes. We have begun extracting single frames from our video works. One frame measures one thirtieth of a second. As stills we are able to view these hidden moments for an infinite amount of time and effectively change the way in which we relate to a moving image. These captured moments reveal a deeper narrative within the video. In reinterpreting video footage through the drawing of individual frames, we recontextualize our relationship to speed and narrative as an integral element of the work. In a reversal of the animation process, animated images will be translated into a series of time based drawings. Drawing; a tactile less immediate process records time on a single surface as opposed to a series of moving frames. The time it takes to create one drawing vastly exaggerates the actual time depicted. One second of video becomes several weeks. One second and half second drawing installations will result. The drawings will reflect the aspect ratio of the video screen or projected image so a direct physical link is made between the canvas and paper to the original source. They will vary in size from small intimate works to larger scale. The drawings would be rendered on vellum and would be installed to encompass a room.
We began our artmaking process as drawers and painters and upon meeting directed our explorations to video. Drawing has remained a strong influence in our work. We are returning to this medium to examine our own history. Additionally, drawing presents us with a new series of negotiations. The play of authorship is an important element in this working process. Our shared experience is translated in what would be normally a solo act.
In the actual video installation, two women run through cornfields. The collaged editing creates an ironic mood. It is as nostalgic and beautiful as it is eerie and schizophrenic. It is unclear whether the women are being chased, followed, lost or are merely playing. The women look back, but their faces are never completely revealed, as they remain camouflaged by the stalks. Some moments the brunette or the blonde will appear alone. Whether this is the perspective of the viewer, a third person or the other woman is ambiguous. The act of running through cornfields is a convention popularized by the horror genre. In Far from Lost, Close to found: the performative aspect of this theme is explored, transcending the "horror" into something more personal and romanticized. The looping devise creates a chase that never ends.
all images © Diana Shpungin & Nicole Engelmann 2000-2007