[rohrpost] Re: moving images from russia now on tank.tv

Joerg Leupold leupold at zkm.de
Die Dez 7 14:36:42 CET 2004

tank.tv wrote:

>tank.tv is very happy to present this month some very special videos coming from far: tank.tv presents a season of hand picked moving images straight out of Russia.
>Have a few shots of vodka with the blue noses group, learn how to bark with Oleg Kulick dog video piece, spend some time with a dunken man "episode 2" lovely piece by Olga Chernysheva. 
>"In 1990, not a single museum or gallery in Russia had as yet made an attempt
>to combine the words "video" and "art" -- neither in Moscow, nor in
>Leningrad. This is not surprising when we consider that at that time video
>art was only in its initial stage within the artistic communities of both
>"cultural capitals". In 1990, a hypothetical showing of video art would only
>have included works from abroad. Lacking the financial and technical support
>that many artists had received already from the 70's in countries like the
>United States, Germany and Japan, Russian video artists were still relegated
>to the semi-clandestine space of private flats or studios, where friends
>would gather and watch their works. In 1990, critics and institutions had
>not yet acknowledged the medium as an art form. 
>Russian video artists are of course more concerned with making
>videos than learning about the history and evolution of their medium.
>Nevertheless, this situation has changed considerably due to the
>ever-growing number of exhibitions including videos -- even though these
>works are very rarely more than five years old. "
>Antonio Geusa
>The films selected reveal a diversity of concerns and practices, even though all contain a latent awareness of their recent history. This is perhaps not surprising as history always lends itself to omnipresence, especially when its legacy has induced such a dramatic re-organization of society.  Certainly what this collection of work highlights, is how history will always adopt a myriad of meanings for the people it affects. 
>Since the collapse of Communism, the Russian people have had to reposition their Soviet inheritance alongside an increasingly Western values system. This shift has affected all pockets of society, including the art world, and the past decade has seen many aspects of Russian culture being effectively overtaken by an increasingly Anglo-American ideology. This has inspired a kaleidoscopic resurgence of avant-garde practices among different artists in Moscow and St. Petersburg, many of whom are resistant to this tendency and the ideals it legitimises. 
>It is not surprising then that the majority of Moving Images from Russia are experimental in tone and have a visceral political subtext. The work of Oleg Kulik is mindful of Marx‚?Ts dictum that ‚?oman is a social animal that can find individuality only in society‚?Ě. His performances provocatively challenge the present day relationship between man and animal, and in doing so, touch on the broader themes of dominance and subservience; physical, cultural, and political. The Radek Community are a group of activists with humour. They often use the public as unsuspecting collaborators in their work, and their Manifestations series sets up a dialogue between the individual and their place in an increasingly culturally hegemonic order. This season tank.tv will also be showcasing work by Olga Chernysheva, Yevgeni Yufit, Anton Litvin, Natalia Pershina and Kirill Shuvalor, among other artists.
>This exhibition has been produced in collaboration with Anya Stonelake of the White Space Gallery, London and Anna Kolossova and Maria Korosteleva of the National Centre for Contemporary Art, St Petersburg
>As well as this great selection of work from russia, We have an exclusive video Alpha s on the work of Rammellzee by video maker Celia Bullwinkel.
>Artist, sculptor, philosopher, rapper and recluse, Rammellzee is one of 
>hip-hop‚?Ts true originals. Mentally fragmented from a lifetime in the 
>underground, he is renowned for his three-dimensional interpretations 
>of the wildstyle? graffiti form as well as his music. A reclusive 
>urban legend, nobody has taken the figurative implications of hip-hop 
>culture as literally or as far as Rammellzee. He is the prophet of 
>Ikonoklast Panzerism and Gothic Futurism, two home-made philosophies 
>that attempt to make sense of two of hip-hop s central subject matters; 
>obsession with sci-fi and horror imagery, and ritual name calling; the 
>double - Dutch remanipulation? of language. By creating ready-mades in 
>hip-hop s own image, Rammellzee‚?Ts life has been an experience of a 
>culture s war against a society that has refused to acknowledge the 
>existence, let alone genius of African and Asian ways of life. He came 
>up with these ideas in 1979 and has doggedly pursued them in a 
>peripatetic career that has included one of the greatest hip-hop jams 
>on wax, symbolically bombing the New York City transit system, gallery 
>exhibitions in New York, Japan and Europe. In 2004, he released The 
>Bi-Conicals of Rammellzee on German label Gomma and is in the process 
>of realizing his screenplay opus, Alpha s Bet.
>Celia Bullwinkel
>Celia Bullwinkel is a New York based animator. In an interview with 
>Xerxes Cook she tells of how she came about to working with the 
>reclusive rapper Rammellzee.
>XC: How are you?
>CB: Good thanks, Resfest was in town this weekend, I caught a few  
>XC: How did you get to meet Rammellzee?
>CB: I was making my thesis film which I called Rammellzee3 at the 
>School of Visual Arts in 2000. I had ran across his name in a book on 
>Basquiat called Quick Killing in Art. It was a traditional animation, 
>nothing to do with graffiti and in the traditional drawn style I 
>usually work with. It was about three rapping rats. No one at the 
>school knew who he was so I felt safe using his name. Until I put it on 
>the web and in January 2002 he sent me an email reprimanding me. He was 
>a bit angry but overall was happy with it, He just said I should have 
>told him as we could have worked on it together. ‚?~Shit, I blew it‚?T I 
>thought. He wanted to see what it was about and invited me over and 
>nervously I went to his place.
>XC: What was his place like?
>CB: It‚?Ts in Tribeca. I used to live in New Jersey and driving through 
>the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan I used to pass these really scary, 
>oppressive buildings that look straight out of a gangster movie. 
>Naturally that‚?Ts his place. Inside it‚?Ts really clean and organized with 
>a bunch of antique scuba gear lying around. He builds a lot of his own 
>furniture but it‚?Ts his costumes that take pride of place.
>XC: How was the transition from traditionally drawn animation to what 
>it essentially motion graphics?
>CB: I used a lot of After Effects and a 3D program called Z Space. I‚?Tm 
>a big fan of Kansas City motion graphics collective MK12 and I 
>incorporated that style for Rammellzee. I had a fantasy of a 
>transformer style drawn animation but the project‚?Ts horizons were 
>always more than that. I worked with Ram every step of the way.
> I was using a really underpowered PC. Now I‚?Tve got my G5 I can‚?Tt wait 
>to start working on it again, just waiting for the funding.
>XC: What is Rammellzee‚?Ts status in America, he seems to have a cult 
>following but no-where near the recognition he receives in Europe and 
>Japan. Why do you think that is?
>CB: He does it on purpose; he really needs his privacy. He is an 
>entertainer‚?Ts entertainer. The American psyche is basically pop 
>culture, it is completely drawn to the Billboard‚?Ts top 40. I don‚?Tt 
>think we will ever see him on MTV in this country
>And Rammellzee says of Celia:
>RAMM: She‚?Ts real pretty, but really knows what she was doing. She made 
>the Rammellzee 3, her film with the rapping rats. She turned me into a 
>rat. She knew too much ‚?" I mean, I was born in 1960, the year of the 
>rat. She came to me. I met her to scold her, I wanted to punish her, I 
>put her to work and her punishment was to make something beautiful.
>For the full interview with Rammellzee, check out this issue of TANK magazine.
>move me  / show me

Joerg Leupold

Institut fuer Bildmedien / Institute for Visual Media
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