Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Marc Lee presents '18 pairs and 4questions'

Bar1 presents a show by Marc Lee, developed and realised during his 6 months residency in Bengaluru.

Bar1 presents 
18 pairs and 4 questions
a show by Marc Lee, developed and realised during his 6 months residency in Bengaluru.

On Saturday, 13th June at 7 PM at Samuha
Ada Ranga Mandira, Opposite Ravindra Kalashetra, J C Road, Bangalore
18 pairs & 4 questions

Born in 1969, Marc Lee is a Swiss artist experienced in the field of new technologies who discusses in his works the impact of media and technological instruments on the vision of every day life.

Since his beginnings in 1999, he took part in major new media exhibitions including: ZKM, Karlsruhe, New Museum, New York, Media Art Biennale, Seoul, Transmediale ‘02 and ‘04, Berlin, Viper ‘01, ‘03, ‘04 and ‘05, Basel, Ars Electronica, Linz, Read_Me Festival, Moscow and ICC, Tokyo. 
He was awarded a grant by the Swiss Arts Council pro Helvetia to take part in the Artist Residency Program Bar1 in Bangalore for a period of six months. His first months in the city led to the construction of a pyramid dedicated to meditation and resting. This structure made of recycled material was erected near Banaswadi Railway Station. http://www.1go1.net/index.php/Main/Pyramid

The actual show composed of a 10 minute video, titled “4 Questions” and a photomontage, called “18 Pairs” represents a synthesis of his experiences in Bangalore and of his recent travel to the Himalayas.

“4 Questions” is a montage of interviews whereby 68 people from unprivileged areas of Bangalore are asked to answer four simple questions in front of their house. The three first ones  - “What is your name?” “How old are you?” and “ What is your mother tongue?” - lead the subjects to ‘define’ themselves through parameters they have ‘inherited’ by birth. The last question, however, “What is important in your life?” – is more introspective and addresses the notions of choice and values.
It brings to light the aspirations of the younger generation to get a better live through education.

“18 Pairs”, on the other hand, is an album made of pairs of photographs of the same scene shot at a few seconds of interval. The images are cropped randomly by a software the artist wrote for this project and only five percent of these high-resolution photographs are shown each time. Every viewing being different, it draws the attention of the viewer to a different detail of the same photograph.

The random framing allows to break away from the usual boundaries of the memory set by photography. By deliberately recording a moment with a camera, one associates a fixed image to the moment and usually sticks to it in a definite way. Marc Lee allows himself to rediscover some forgotten or unnoticed parts of his souvenirs. Thus, he re-opens the crystallization mechanism of memory and even creates a stimulus for the outside viewer, who is invited to associate with these “impressions” to rediscover other facets of his own memories. 

Through this album, the artist suppresses the chosen aesthetic value given by contemporary society to photography by reclaiming and extending its function of aide-memoire. At the same time, he changes the power that images have on our minds by using them as partial sources of information, which allows a subjective reconstruction of a souvenir. 

Marc Lee delivers an unstructured and multifaceted vision of India and of his own experience here.

-Sophie Hamel

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