Category Archives: Video Art

Under Exposed: the Roaming Eye gives photography and multimedia work by Nikki Luna and Emil Kozak cyber time and space

© Nikki Luna, Leaf Cuttings

© Nikki Luna, Leaf Cuttings, the mother of one of the missing women opens a drawer

© Nikki Luna, Leaf Cuttings

 

Emil Kozak, Little White Plastic Bird

Emil Kozak, Big Black Nothing (2010-ongoing)

The Roaming Eye (tRE) comes across work in both physical and virtual spaces and will be presenting some of it under the heading Under Exposed. The aim is to support the less well-known, the small, and those who reach out to connect and share. There are many ways for photographers and visual artists to promote work; some have agents or galleries to do it for them, some have universities to push the work (and its reputation), some are brilliant DIY self-promoters. But then there are many, many others.

Those who are quieter; those who are still there – reading, looking and listening – who may push out occasionally, sometimes apologetically, often tentatively. Under Exposed is a space for these kind of photographers and visual artists – the ones who don’t overuse, or abuse, the social-media promotion machine, yet still feel that they have created something they want to share and to communicate. What have you got to lose? Certainly, you won’t lose face as cyberspace is the place to take risks.

So, Bring It On.

Get in Touch: If this sounds like you, or someone you know and want to support, then take a chance on the Roaming Eye and get in touch via email or the blog. Simply email some examples of work and/or a link. All work will be looked at and considered for inclusion. But remember, this is a curated blog so there is a filter system, but tRE likes to think its approach is open-minded and open-hearted. If you don’t agree, then why not comment. Web 2.0 was designed with dialogue in mind.

NIKKI LUNA
To kick off, tRE presents some images from Nikki Luna (whose website is, temporarily, in the process of being updated). Luna writes: “For the show, Shade my eyes and I can’t see you, (the title is from the lyrics of the Pink Floyd song Green is the Colour) my focus was to share the story of some women, who apart from being human-rights defenders, also chose to live and work with the poor, rural communities, teaching reading and writing. They were taken by military forces and were never seen again. Three of these women were killed by state security forces. The other two are still missing.

“These women are, first and foremost mothers, daughters, wives and sisters, and women to the people they have left behind. Not everyone may know, or understand, human-rights defenders, but we all know and have some close relationships with a woman in our lives. It’s sad that these women, all in their 20s, lost their lives and may be soon forgotten. The struggle to search and find them, the constant pushing for the truth, and the fact of injustice still goes on.”

For those who want to know more about the context, there’s an Amnesty International video documenting the story of the two women who are still missing. Note that the video The Escape of Raymond Manalo has subtitles and shows scenes of a graphic and disturbing nature.

“University of Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were among those who disappeared. Raymond Manalo, who was kidnapped by the Philippino army under the ex-General Jovito Palparan, was tortured but escaped and lived to tell the tale of his plight and of the other people he met in the camps. Among them were Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. He reports that he saw them naked and hanging upside down, while they had water poured on them, were hit and sexually violated”, writes Luna.

Luna will be showing work in a group show at the Equator Arts Project gallery at the Gillman Barracks in Singapore, as well as in two solo shows – firstly, at the Pablo Art Gallery in the Philippines from May 26 – June 23 where she has a video/photo projection and a soil/land installation and later in the year at the Manila Contemporary art gallery in September, date (tbc), where she will be creating a multimedia installation that includes stoneware.

EMIL KOZAK
On a different note, Emil Kozak who is from Denmark but lives in Spain, has two bodies of work Big Black Nothing (2010-ongoing) for which he walks until he “gets scared or can’t go any further, then takes a photo, and goes back” and Little White Plastic Bird – a project based on a true story.

Photo Show Stroll – East is West: Three Women Artists show video works in Singapore

Still from Journal by Mariana Vassileva, courtesy the artist and DNA Galerie

Transition Detail from Nezaket Ekici's performance video shot with iPhone Miranda Gavin

Almagul Menlibayeva, The Aral Beach 2, 2011 Duratrans print in lightbox 36 x 48 in. (91 x 122 cm) Edition of 3. Still courtesy of the artist and Priska C Juschka Fine Art

East is West: Three Women Artists runs until 15 February at the Lasalle College of the Arts in the Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore. This wonderful exhibition – more to come in a later post  – introduces three women artists from outside Western Europe who now live in Berlin. Curated by Dr Charles Merewether it features Mariana Vassileva (Bulagaria), Almagul Menlibayeva (Kazakhstan) and Nezaket Ekici (Turkey).

Some of the work explores the subject of women as well as cultural differences that lie within their countries of origin and between national boundaries. Integral to their practice is performance that is recorded and subsequently shown as independent work, invloving both themselves directly as the subject, as well as others.

The Roaming Eye (tRE) took some iPhone photos (see below) and stayed at the exhibition for a couple of hours watching four video works by each of the three artists and absolutely loved the show. Of course, of the twelve video works, ranging from a couple of minutes up to 24 mins or so, there are favourites including Ekici’s performance piece Veiling and Reveiling, Menlibayeva’s Transoxiana Dreams and Vassileva’s Journal.

What was so refreshing for tRE was the way the conceptual and the technical merged to produce beautifully articulated and visually engaging works that were strong and often, profound. Sometimes, one aspect is foregrounded at the expense of the others, but this was not the case here. The videos also demonstrated a level of maturity and depth that may have something to do with the women’s ages – all are in their 40s – as well as their particular cross cultural experiences and artistic educations.

It is so nice to get away from the UK and the often London-biased exhibition scene and familiar styles of works that are – at times – dominated by certain institutions, such as the Royal College of Art. Look out folks, it’s going to be costing £25,000/year for international students to do the two year Masters in Photography – that’s a huge investment and is, if we are honest, not just about the art and the critical forums that the RCA provides for its students, but also about the brand and its status.

There’s nothing wrong with this and there are undoubtedly some exciting visual artists and photographers that have emerged from the RCA and its photography Masters. But art and photography should, in tRE’s opinion, be discovered by looking outside the usual remits and circles and seen in different environments and countries as house styles do tend to emerge and sometimes works gets repetitive, stale and becomes uninteresting. More images from the show in a later post, there’s a lot to cover. One other point, light from outside spilled inside and it compromised the bottom right-hand corner of the screen where Menlibayeva’s work was projected, as the blinds behind the glass door were not fully closed.

See over for more photos…

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Videos and moving image with a dance theme – John Hicks and Magali Charrier

It’s sunny outside today and one could almost believe that spring is close by. Today I feel like some moving image themed around dance and movement so the following pieces both involve dancers, physical movement and environment, however, the style and techniques are very different.

Thanks to John Hicks and Magali Charrier, who I mentioned in an earlier post, for sending me links to their work.

Evolution (3 mins) is a short film by John Hicks featuring Marie Gabrielle Rotie with an original music score by Marc Johnston. Take a look…

Charrier has uploaded some of her initial tests carried out during the research and development period of her film 12 Sketches on the Impossibility of Being Still 2010 (8 min) which she made for her final year project at the RCA. It is written, directed and edited by Magali Charrier. Featuring Selina Papoutseli and Tom Lyall.

The film has been up for, and has won, some awards. So keep a look out for it…

New show Romanian Pavilion opens at HotShoe Gallery, London

While the UK is debating its current political status of a hung Parliament, you can get an insight into the changes wrought in Romania under Nicolae Ceausescu’s rule at HotShoe Gallery where a new show Romanian Pavilion opens on Friday evening next week. The show runs until the 18 June.

© Dan Acostioaei, Reconstructionscapes (2005) and Bahlui by Night (2004) explores the unseen connections between power, economy and identity in his hometown Iasi, alongside the emergence of neoliberalist ideology.

Romanian Pavilion will “bring together five Romanian video artists, Dan Acostioaei, Sebastian Moldovan, Joanne Richardson, Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, whose works address the former communist president Nicolae Ceausescu’s failed utopian social experiments and subsequent dehumanising conditions, with an emphasis on the reality of the built environment and private life in Romania.The show is curated by visual artist and associate curator of the gallery Marcin Dudek with Simona Nastac. The exhibition design is  by Ioana Iliesiu.

© Joanne Richardson, In Transit (2008) is a diary of the artist’s journey through Romania in the year of its EU accession. The video reflects upon the re-writing of history and the link between images and memory

“Any utopia is obsessed with the rehabilitation of man and the condemnation of our happiness; to make a tabula rasa of the past, to install the reign of the new self; the perfect polis of human beings. The totalitarian regime in Eastern and Central Europe did precisely this: for almost half a century, it built new cities for the ‘new man’- displaced in flats that look like prison blocks. Drawing its inspiration from Corbusier’ and Gropius’ rational architecture, modernist social housing was applied widely in Eastern Europe in the 1960s, but its profoundly alienating consequences have become evident after the 1990s, alongside the emergence of capitalism.”

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