Muziekcentrum De Bijloke, Jozef Kluyskensstraat 2, 9000 Gent (BE)
Benjamin Verhoeven, Ella Littwitz
Can you recognize the melody of a-historicity?
Like the Ella Littwitz and Benjamin Verhoeven artistic researches make us look at the institutionalized forms, embedded in 'real' as a point of meeting between axes of time and space, from a very unexpected perspectives. They enter the peculiar realm of paradoxes, which are avoided by the convention. The sound of void, composed of the same universal particles as the physical matter, in their artistic researches becomes material: a vacuum that obtains a body itself.
Verhoeven with craftsman's attention looks at the nature of montage as a thing in itself, taking what is considered to be a strategy in the individualized form. Montage becomes a material object, which the artist scrupulously observes in his cinematic lab. In the process of scanning the video, he establishes a conversation between the machines on the impractical grounds of aesthetics and in this dialogue the capture of invisible fragments becomes possible. Verhoeven experiments with materialization in video form inanimate objects of knowledge. In his project "Sculptural Movement" he opens another dimension of dynamism in the still imagery of classical sculpture park. He creates dynamic movement out of the book and manages to break with the gravity of history and symbology of the objects and breathes in them independent, aesthetic and ahistorical melody. They seem to graciously dance in muteness of omnipresent, but impossible to hear waltz.
In her project 'What there is / What is there?’, Littwitz materialized ephemeral spirit of archaeological artifacts and disrupted the image of memory as solidified matter. For a period of time she was working with historians in Tempelhof airport in Berlin, where the evidence of complex history of the space is scattered. The site has been used as military center, concentration camp and logistical hub. Re-appropriations of the highly symbolic eagle sculpture on the top of one of the airport’s building, that used to be adjusted and cosmetically modified by the changing administrations of Tempelhof, strongly highlights the universality of the power narrative despite specific, appearing radically different ideologies. In the spirit of critical theory, Littwitz reveals the flesh of politics as the game of masks and signs where the winner takes temporary lead in defining new ‘real’ of constantly dynamic history. By scanning the mundane objects as witnesses of time, she liberates the invisible power of their memory. 34 three-dimensional prints of the artifacts, including a broken piece of vinyl record and an enlarged scan of the only negative found in the digs with emulsion remains on it, combine together artist's installation that contain potentiality of disrupting seemingly apparent.
Sound can fill the space without being present in it. Music as orchestrated harmony not only immaterially embodies the space, but enriches it with a character. While skillfully playing mediums as instruments, Littwitz and Verhoeven projects appear symphonic, as if it was on the same staff.
By Denis Maksimov