Saturday, June 10, 2006

Nathaniel Stern sentimental deconstruction

Nathaniel Stern, step inside, 2004. Interactive/immersive environment, inside 3x3x3 meters; outside variable.

Staged via various media, Nathaniel Stern’s work enacts the interstices of body, language and technology. It seeks to force us to look again at the relationships between the three, and invites us to experiment with their relation. His body of work can, perhaps, be described as an exploration of the interstitial itself–revisiting between technology and text the dangerous spaces of enfleshment, incipience, and process.
In step inside (2004), participants make visual and aural images appear through the shapes they create with their bodies and echoed footsteps within the performance space, each affecting the other. Entering into a box that is closed off from the outside of the gallery, the participant is confronted with a double-sided screen and a wired floor. Cocooned within the box and the reverberating sound their movements produce, the performer sees only their profile. By cutting a performer off from his or her mirror image, as well as the external reactions of the audience, the work tempts us to leave behind reflection and self-consciousness and, rather, occupy a place of play and intimacy. One participant at a recent showing likened the experience to painting with her entire body.

video still from "at interval"

For at interval, I captured the entirety of Woody Allen's Annie Hall, then removed all spoken dialogue from the film. Time is slowed down, through emphasis on breathing, silence, mistakes, facial expressions and music between the text, and paradoxically sped up, through an immense shortening of the film - from one hour and thirty minutes, to just over thirteen. at interval compresses the movie by removing Allen's characters' lapses in judgment, and instead plays with time to accent similar impossibilities within language.

Nathaniel Stern

see this charming video here
Read more about his work in the, above quoted, article "Between Text and Flesh" in NY Arts magazine
and in case you are in Pretoria, South Africa, join the closing party at Outlet gallery tomorrow @ 4pm

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