Expand and Contract
In 1967, the critic Sheldon Renan asserted, "The forms of cinema are proliferating. Every new way of creating or controlling light is potentially a new form of cinema." Illuminating fractions of a shared space, the projects presented here deploy a range of media and modes to foreground the presence of the assembled viewers, and their contact and mediation within an imageless environment.
In Ouroboros (or Color Bars Matched Horizontally One by One) (2008), a software designed by Matthew Biederman creates a visual framework based upon a set of vertical stripes until every possible digital colour is presented without repetition. As the backgrounds are stored and displayed, the computer matches each of the individual vertical stripes with a horizontal stripe sequentially from left to right. When it reaches the end of the screen, another background is displayed. After all 16.7 million colours are matched and displayed, a new set of backgrounds are created and the process starts again.
Mirage ('Club Silencio') (2007) by Franziska Cordes deploys light within an emptied space, except for the sound of the artist's breath and a spotlight projected onto the wall. Functioning as a metaphor for the body, each breath drawn exposes the gallery site, every exhale conceals it. Upon entering the installation, one's perception is linked to the presence and absence of the artist, by way of the light as interface.
Anna Wignell's Ibland Ser Jag Mer (2009) is a light installation consisting of a search light that is projecting a rectangular frame of white light onto the wall. Translated into English, the title Sometimes I See More refers to the ratio of the rectangle as it continuously fluctuates between the video and television standard aspect ratios of 16:9 and 4:3. The shift is continuous, yet slow, with each sequence lasting one minute.
These projects by Biederman, Cordes and Wignell are united by their evocation of the cinematic, while simultaneously eliminating the moving image intrinsic to the forms of film and video. Questions regarding expanded cinema's historical practice of occupying space with moving images are here contracted, reduced to the basic elements of projected light, revealing a site predetermined by programming, a stage for the viewer to enter.
Matthew Biederman works with the electromagnetic spectrum as base material in all of his explorations. Biederman has served as artist-in-residence at the Center for Experimental Television on numerous occasions, and his projects have been presented at the 7th ATA Festival (Lima, Peru), Oboro (Montreal), and the SCAPE Biennial of Art in Pubic Space (Christchurch, New Zealand).
Franziska Cordes was born in 1979 in Hannover, Germany. She studied at the Kunsthochschule in Kassel, obtaining her final degree in 2006. From 2006 to 2008 she participated in the postgraduate program at KHM in Cologne. Currently, she divides her time between Cologne and Berlin.
Born in 1974, Anna Wignell lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden where she was educated at the Royal University College of Fine Arts. Wignell regards her work as a constructive extension of the cinema, where the physicality of the projected image is exposed and built-in power structures are explored. She has exhibited extensively in Europe, and this marks her first exhibition in Canada.