opening 31Jan 2020 19 – 22 Uhr
Fragmentary Thoughts on Stefan Lux’s „Dichte Kammer Fox Cut“ (2020)
Record and Remember 1:
On September 1st, 1953 at the age of 27, Henry Gustav Molaison undergoes brain surgery in the hospital of Hartford, Connecticut. The reason for the surgery is severe epilepsy from which Molaison has suffered ever since his childhood. The neurosurgeon removes a piece of temporal lobe in both cerebral hemispheres. The seizures occur less often but from then on, Molaison suffers from anterograde amnesia. His long-term memory is still intact, however his brain is no longer capable of saving new information. Trapped in memories. Forever 27!
Record and Remember 2:
In 1981, William Gibson’s short story “Johnny Mnemonic” is published. In 1995, its screen version of the same name [German version titled “Vernetzt – Johnny Mnemonic”] is released in the cinema. It drafts a world in the year 2021. Here, high-tech industry and hackers are in charge. Johnny is a “mnemonic courier”. To implant a data storage device required for this job in his brain he has to give up parts of his memory. A highly explosive mission puts Johnny’s life in danger. Not only because both corporations and the underworld are after the data but also because the data overload in his brain threatens to blast it. Too much information can be lethal!
Record and Remember 3:
In 2019, Instagram counts 1 billion users worldwide. Of these, around 500 million actively use it every day. Between 2010 and 2016, more than 40 billion photos were shared on this platform. That’s an average of around 80 million pictures per day – Instastories and videos not counted. Instagram: the site where our memories will be stored in future?
Record and Remember 4:
Already in 2014, Vienna-based artist Stefan Lux starts to record everyday impressions on video and arrange them chronologically. Lux is a registrar of casual and random moments. His project that, thanks to its spatio-temporal unfolding, ruptures the logic of conventional storytelling is titled “Dichte Kammer” [Closed Chamber]. “Dichte Kammer” is stream of consciousness, inner monologue, Écriture automatique. The gaze falls on developed and undeveloped landscapes, rooms, along their floors and walls, onto objects, and fragmentary, more or less recognizable details. Now and then an animal. A cat. My cat! Alternating camera perspectives, monochrome cross-fades, fade-in and fade-outs, streams of images, edits, montages at a varying pace from a flash of insight to dwelling briefly – in total, an incredible abundance of impressions. Sensory overload? Depends on the individual condition…
Record and Remember 5:
Dichte Kammer / closed chamber 04.10.2016 19′ 29″
Dichte Kammer / closed chamber 03.05.2017 25′ 06″
Dichte Kammer / closed chamber 29.12.2017 40′ 57″
Dichte Kammer / closed chamber 30.05.2018 53′ 20″
Dichte Kammer / closed chamber 05.10.2018 53′ 40″
Dichte Kammer / closed chamber 12.04.2019 57′ 43″
TO BE CONTINUED, EXTENDED & REVISED
“Dichte Kammer deals with compiling and structuring image collections as memory reservoirs” (the artist in an email to the author of this text on Friday, 10th January, 2020, 12:35 a.m.).
Record and Remember 6:
Which memory flashes through one’s mind when thinking of something experienced? Which image does the memory reservoir release?
White light, fade-in: People in an art space attending a lecture accompanied by images and a musical backdrop. Parts of the event not captured in the camera frame appear in the reflections on a glass windowpane. Fade-out.
White light, fade-in: People in an art space observe people in an art space who are attending a lecture accompanied by images and a musical backdrop. Parts of the event in the art space with the people who are attending a lecture accompanied by images and a musical backdrop, and which the camera perspective doesn’t capture directly, appear in the reflections on a glass windowpane of the art space, which is not the art space, in which people observe people in an art space who are attending a lecture accompanied by images and a musical backdrop and where parts of the event…. Fade-out.
People in an art space observing people in an art space, who are attending a lecture accompanied by images… and so on are reflected in a window of the art space, namely that one, in which people observe people in an art space who are attending a lecture… and so on. – “Dichte Kammer Fox Cut” (2020). RECORD, SAVE, TO BE CONTINUED!
Manisha Jothady, January 2020
[Translation: Jeanette Pacher]
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