Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathNarration
Broken Circle (Thater, Diana), 1997Onomatopoeia (Douglas, Stan), 1985Win, Place or Show (Douglas, Stan), 1998

icon: previous page

constellation of the cinema— the immersion effect of the darkened theater, the bright video or film projection, the relationship between projection and audience—and thus with and against narrative strategies that today still account for the power of storytelling movies à la Hollywood. The artists thus become not only critics of the cinematic manner of affecting viewers, but at the same time are also their accomplices. The artist's attention is focused especially on the manipulative potential of the cinema and its tendency to lure the viewer into an illusory state, remote from everyday reality.

In video installations such as «Broken Circle» (1997), Diana Thater applies strategies that make reference to narrative cinema and at the same time develop a new form of cinema as a time and illusion machine. Sam Taylor-Wood and Aernout Mik evince similar intentions, encouraging us to draw conclusions about our own film and cinema experience. They show how ‹anti›-narrative and ‹anti›-illusionary strategies in the viewer's reception ultimately lead to a modified form of narrations and illusions. These artists are well aware


that neither language nor images can be used without invoking the ideologies that accompany them. Some employ obsolete systems of representation in order to show that which cannot be represented. On this subject, Stan Douglas says: «When they become obsolete, forms of communication become an index of an understanding of the world lost to us. This is the basic hook in a piece like Onomatopoeia (1985/1986), an onomatopoeia being a word that makes the sound of what it represents. … An absence is often the focus of my work. Even if I am resurrecting these obsolete forms of representation, I'm always indicating their inability to represent the real subject of the work. It's always something that is outside the system.»[21]

In «Win, Place or Show» (1998), an expansive video installation, a conflict between two men is constructed over several narrative levels, finally escalating into a short scuffle. On two adjacent screens, images appear that complement one another, repeat the same situation from a somewhat different perspective or show a different narrative level. Every time one thinks that a scene is repeating itself, it turns

icon: next page