Sunday, March 05, 2006

Alternative Play Station by Provmyza now playing on

"Alternative Play Station" is a title ironically subversive
and at the same time positioning the idea of the work in the context
of the practice and theory of games which have been acquiring
special importance alongside the development of information technologies.
At present the idea of game has turned into a rational tool of structuring
and managing one's actions in pursuit of either educational,
entertaining, business or propagandistic goals. The potential and powers
of the media technologies give a possibility to create incredibly
sophisticated kinds of game that, on the one hand, simulate
the physical reality with an increasing accuracy and, on the other hand,
reincarnate the gamers in characters of artificial worlds
with increasingly deep emotion. This is the developmental logic
of the technology and simultaneously of the commercial product
of the computer game industry - the Play Station. However instead
of the latest-tech gadgets, thrilling special effect and
colorful visualized scenes in ProvMyza's video work we see children
rather bored than playing from the conventional point of view
about children's games. On screen they are left alone
with ordinary home furniture - chairs and a wardrobe.
They make subconscious, undirected, unmotivated, un-interpretive
movements using the furniture not according to its functions
or as imagination-transformed substitutes of other realities.
For the children the pieces of furniture are only obstacles
in the emptiness of the area assigned for the utmost chaos
of children's spontaneous games unburdened with rationality.
Free of pre-assigned scenarios, devoid of possibilities
to copy the incomprehensible reality of traditional social
practices, devoid of children's toys that imitate adults' toys,
left on their own and in front of the camera,
the children turn in neurotically disorderly bodies
that constitute their own existence which does not depend
on the rules of normal behavior. The spontaneous choreography
of their subconscious bodily improvisations is appropriately
and laconically captured by the camera which is watching
them impartially. The montage is like a half-dozing
observer's blinking. In "The Alternative Play Station"
the artists, in a way, bring the reverse negative idea of the
game to its logical maximum, depriving it of the purpose, shape,
structure deriving at the same time and capturing the performances
of naive movement unique in their suddenness and spontaneity.

Tatiana Goryucheva, Arts Critic, Historian of Contemporary Media Arts
/Moscow, Amsterdam

see Alternative Play Station on Directors Lounge tv

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