LAZNIA 1 PARAKINO: No Middle, No End
Screening: 22nd February 2018, 7 pm; free entry

Curator of the screening: Federica Patti

LAZNIA 1 Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk Dolne Miasto
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The screening programme No Middle, No End is a deep journey through a crisis of identity, which no longer adheres to imposed generic standards, drifting into a sense of helplessness caused by physical and mental inertia, panic of failing, and euphoria: something between what Lovink calls the “psychopathology of information overload” and a mystic upper level of awareness. Showcasing video works by artists from different backgrounds, generations, and practices, the programme curated by Federica Patti represents an opportunity to see how the relationship between living beings and the technological dimension enables us to consider hitherto unprecedented meanings. The films by Andrea Familari, Baden Pailthorpe, Boris Labbè, Diego Zuelli, Emilio Vavarella, Glenn Marshall, Marco Mendeni, Mattia Casalegno and Nicolás Rupcich are characterized by different narrative techniques – from found footage to real-time processing – hyperbolic deviations and speculative projections. The boundaries between what’s virtual and what’s real are mixed-up, the spectator is a secondary element and the authorship of the work is blurred.

Animal Cinema, the latest film by Emilio Vavarella, is composed of fragments of videos of animals operating cameras. The work starts this journey as a statement that opens us to post- and non-human aesthetic scenarios. In turn, the main protagonist of Nicolás Rupcich’s EDF – Error de formato are the Chilean Patagonian landscapes from the Torres del Paine National Park. As the video develops, the images are slowly being deleted, making us aware of the instability of the representational surface and the problem of digital representation in the context of the “post-photography era”, where the images are no longer a representation of reality, but a way of reality itself.

Inspired by the Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova, Knowledge of the Body is an audio-visual artwork by Mattia Casalegno that deals with the idea of beauty and the fallacy of the presumed superiority of man and machine over nature. Using photogrammetry, a technique employed in archaeology, parts of Canova’s statues on display at the Civic Museum in the North Italian town of Bassano del Grappa have been digitally scanned and further elaborated. Modified using CGI animation, the work presents glossy futuristic car details intermingled with body parts of the statues in order to crash and explore the relationship between body aesthetics and contemporaneity. The use of a platform for the creation of virtual worlds has allowed Marco Mendeni to develop a parallel reality: he deconstructs and disintegrates the matter, aiming to achieve a gradual change of the environment. r_lightTweakSunlight gives rise to an environmental path entirely realized with Cryengine3 engine, populating it freely with textures and extravagant physics laws, in a search which is about space and shape, thanks to computer use.

"There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects" is a quotation from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five chosen by Diego Zuelli for his video work, and by the curator as the title of the programme. No Middle, No End presents a set of digital processes, works in which the generating force of transmutation by generative codes undermines the common conception of (creative) consciousness, and goes beyond the anthropocentric perspective. Untitled by Andrea Familari tries to re-describe the magic of creation through a metaphor: the birth of a seed, a journey through its life, its attractive blooming and transformation into flower. Metamorphoses and being reborn as a seed, again and again, are literally re-enacted by numbers and algorithms. Processed by a generative code, Untitled represents an artificial way of blooming, a never-ending loop that creates and reshuffles linear forms and holy colours, spheres mutating in a hypnotic vortex made by petals that magnetize and show all their stories and the world. Our World.

Glenn Marshall has made Radiohead – Codex using the three separate animations he has done based on code-generated particle animation: Particle Man + Star Girl + Universe Hand. Inspired by science and nature, the meditative and the abstract, and with a philosophical narrative, this animation is created through generative code art and innovative software tools. A seductive, psychedelic visual loop of cadence, kaleidoscopic camouflage and mimicry in Baden Pailthorpe’s playful works Cadence Series transforms the gestures of virtual soldiers into a hypnotic dance scenario, negotiating the relationship between warfare and the performative traditions and rituals of military institutions. Meaning "long series or plethora" in French, a result of the capture of real objects translated to video abstraction, Boris Labbé’s Kyrielle was built with 285 watercolours that gradually deform through improvised movements. Like Cadence, its repeating rhythms and cycles also have a hypnotic quality and encourage the viewer’s eye to wonder playfully and explore different figures. The animated ones are developing in a process of symmetry and abstraction, and then returning to the minimalist aesthetic of the initial white. The final piece, following a palindromic form, was then digitally designed.

All these videos are marked with the concept of palingenesis, appealing both to the loop and regeneration: a cyclical return of the same events, a regular reappearance of ancestral characters, a perpetual return to life. Again and again. No middle, no end.
Thanks to: Adiacenze, Gallleriapiù, Sullivan+Strumpf gallery and the artists.

Federica Patti
Boris Labbé, Kyrielle (2011)
Municipal Institution of Culture