Paola Yacoub/Michel Lassere (Libanon/Beirut, France/Paris; exhibitions in Paris, Barcelona, Seoul, Venice (Biennale 2003)), digital slide show as flash film, and Egbert Haneke (Germany/Hamburg; exhibitions in Berlin and Shanghai; Collection Falckenberg Hamburg), analogue slide show
The exhibition´s title “Moments of Shifting” refers to a topic and the the use of media. All images show urban situations that gain new aspects through textual information, sequence or crossfading. Superficially banal streets, blocks and parking lots gain a specific aura, as a setting for actions, or through the sequential combination of settings.
The media used suggest shifts in a literal sense: in a slide show one image is shifted over another. Yacoub/Lassere offer a digital slide show (partly set to music) that has been made on film editing software; Haneke shows an analogue slide show, one image fading into the next. It is astonishing that the digital slide show seems to be a lot less filmic in its juxtaposition of images, while crossfading seems to position the analogue slide show between still and moving film image. Both analogue and the digital slide show are shifted out of their specific qualities.
“O.V. (Original Version)" by architects and artists Paola Yacoub and Michel Lassere was recently presented on the Biennale in Venice in 2003. The work links actions during the first week of the Iraq War to the urban situation in and around Beirut. A tremendous storm in Beirut coincides with the beginning of the war in Iraq, and the city´s parking lots are completely empty, because all cars have been hidden from possible air attacks in subterranean shelters.
This is a photographic experiment to aesthetically define tensions of a political-military kind through images that seem every-day, unpolitical and non-military at first sight. In an aesthetic approach, urban situations and landscapes gain a meaningful aura. Since 2000, Yacoub/Lassere work on shifting aspects of space, especially in border areas, within varying fornats, media and strategies to reach the viewer. Trained as architects, they manage to track down the “effects of history” (Foucault) that sedimentize in specific sites and they address the fragile relation of images to the events they're supposed to represent.
“Living in Motion”, a slide show by Egbert Haneke, presents photographs taken in Japan. Haneke´s art follows the tradition of William Egglestone and Stephen Shore, whose oversized and colorful travel photo series made that genre popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Under the term “New Colour-School” they showed mostly deserted urban every-day situations within functionalised architectural settings. Obliged to this school, Haneke explores the life of plants in urban space. The surface materials he photographs seem overwhelmingly aesthetic in the lighting he uses. Again, urban situations gain an aura, not from political-military tensions, but rather from the material and structural tensions that lie within the objects themselves, and from their interaction in urban space.
The essence of Haneke´s slide show lies in his crossfading technique. In the transitory process of fading one picture to another, they temporarily melt together. These moments of visual contamination alter the way of seeing the individual image. For a short time, unstable intermediate images come into existence, which lend a phantasmagorical quality to the commonplace.
Slide show below: images 1-4 YacoubLasserre, images 5-8 Egbert Haneke, images 9-11 graphic art installation by Oliver Moore