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-4472
25.05.2011
“Skagen” - Björn Drenkwitz
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“Skagen” Starting point of my video "Skagen" is on one side the "economic colonialization“ of the sea and the attempt to tame and utilise this physical power. On the other side the very own power of the sea which catches up to us in the form of ...

“Skagen”

Starting point of my video "Skagen" is on one side the "economic colonialization“ of the sea and the attempt to tame and utilise this physical power. On the other side the very own power of the sea which catches up to us in the form of natural disasters like Tsunamis or recently of the environmental disaster by BP in the gulf of Mexico on the 20th April, 2010. After the explosion of the drilling platform "Deepwater Horizon" during twelve weeks more than 780 million litres of crude oil flowed into the sea. This has led to the biggest oil plague in the US history.

The artistic employment of scenery is a subject since the 17-th century which, in the meantime, has overcome the romantically transfigured look at nature and reached for a long time also a political level.

„Like no other medium the artistic representation of scenery is suited to reflect the role of the individual in the world or the look of the Individual at his respective environment: Scenery view is always also a world view “, one can read in the only recently appeared catalogue to the topical exhibition in Bochum „scenery as a world view, art of the 17-th century up to present painting, photographs, videoinstallations and works on paper “ .

The purpose of my stay in Denmark is the production of a video which finds establishing points to the topical debate with the subject Sea and Destruction. Besides, I would like to develop a series of preceding videoworks. In these I deal with the break between classical painting and moving picture (see below). After I dealt in these works with the characteristics of portrait and still life, i would like to make the transfer to scenery representation. In the area around the Danish city of Skagen which has become famous in art history because of its resident artist's colony at the end of the 19-th century, the artistic work will be developed.

Skagen

Skagen is the most northern city of Denmark and lies at the north point of Jutland. There Kattegat and Skagerrak, i.E the North Sea and the Baltic Sea flow together directly and clearly recognizably. This geographic specific feature brings beside the phenomenon of diametrically crashing waves also a special quality of the light with itself, brought in the 19-th century many European painters to work in Skagen.

This artist's group attained under the name "Skagenpainters" in the 80s and 90s of the 19-th century international meaning and above all, dedicated themselves to open-air painting. The painters worked in the tradition of the French school of Barbizon and its realistic and naturalistic expression means and also approached impressionism strongly. As the most significant representatives of the Skagenpainters count Peder Severin Krøyer and the married couple Michael and Anna Ancher.

P.S. Krøyer painting one of his models

Video and painting – moment and time

Painting is in itself a static medium. In the naturalistic painting the painting shows a "snapshot". By contrast one of the essential traits of the medium Video is the passing of time, video is linear. In my videoworks „Jeanne D ` Arc“ and "banquet" I deal with exactly this difference betwenn the "classical" media and the "new" media: The 17-minute video "Jeanne D'Arc" of 2007 deals with the historical figure and her death on the pyre. It shows a young woman in half profile dressed with a metal breastplate before a black background. Nothing seems to occur at first sight, because the picture changes only minimally. Only with longer looking the suffering of the young woman becomes slowly clear. The video is without sound, but one sees how the respiration of the protagonist becomes heavier and heavier and slowly sweat drops form on her face. Although the scenery becomes more and more dramatic, the look directed in the distance of the young woman up to the end remains unbroken. The actress was filmed in a sauna to find a correspondence of the emotional processes in physical ones. The aesthetics and, above all, the settlement of the light are leant to classical painting, especially to the portrait Johanna von Orleans of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Videostill from „Jeanne D’Arc“, 2007

The work "banquet" of 2010 shows a table covered with dishes, wine and flowers. The table cloth is laid in folds, the whole scenery is illuminated in subdued, yellowish light. The staging of the dishes and the drape of the table cover strongly remind of the Dutch banquet still life of the 17-th century, especially the work of Pieter Claesz. The static display is suddenly interrupted by two cats who jump on the table and start to eat the dishes. Two still life originate from this intervention now – the one arranged before the animals appearance and the new still life, changed by the interaction of the animals. The cats are absolutely black before a black background, thereby getting a mystic quality and reminding of shadows - the picture is animated from itself.

      Videostills from „Banquet“, 2010

In the project planned on Nordjütland I will develop a videowork outgoing from the work of Peder Severin Kroyers and one of his probably best known pictures („Boys having a bath“), combining the aspects of scenery portrait and videoperformance. The approach to developing the video will correspond to the open-air painting, it originates in situ. In the pictures of Kroyers, the ptotagonists are shown by the sea, which they enter hesitantly, if at all. This corresponds to the romantic picture of nature at that time in which man is full of reverence to the inspired nature. I would like to take up this view of nature of the time which is also to be felt, for example, in the works of Heinrich Heine and David Caspar Friedrich and develop it.

P.S. Kroyer „Boys taking a bath“

The videoperformance will be developed in the line where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. Even when the sea is quiet, high waves will form there. Therefore, bathing is forbidden and swimming is extremely dangerous in the strong current. The popular custom, of standing with one leg in the North Sea and the other in the Baltic Sea, turns out to be a strength-robbing balancing act.

North- and Baltic sea, Skagen

This moment the balance, symbolically standing for a position between the forces of nature and a struggle for balance between East Europe and Western Europe is a starting point for the development of a videoperformance. An important part of my previous work was always leading a protagonist to his physical and emotional borders. Whether it was endless laughter, chin-ups, holding breath or resisting heat ("joker" in 2008, "breath" in 2009, Klimmzug in "2009/2010", Jeanne D'Arc “ in 2007).

In the new work I would like to put the protagonists sea and man into conflict with each other. The fight for physical balance in the waves should stand, on this occasion, as a symbol for two aspects: On the one hand, the internal fight of the person for a balance with itself in harmony with nature, almost lost to us nowadays. On the other hand for the global balance between man and nature, which is nowadays practically measured only by ecological and economic relevance.

“Skagen” Starting point of my video "Skagen" is on one side the "economic colonialization“ of the sea and the attempt to tame and utilise this physical power. On the other side the very own power of the sea which catches up to us in the form of ...

“Skagen”

Starting point of my video "Skagen" is on one side the "economic colonialization“ of the sea and the attempt to tame and utilise this physical power. On the other side the very own power of the sea which catches up to us in the form of natural disasters like Tsunamis or recently of the environmental disaster by BP in the gulf of Mexico on the 20th April, 2010. After the explosion of the drilling platform "Deepwater Horizon" during twelve weeks more than 780 million litres of crude oil flowed into the sea. This has led to the biggest oil plague in the US history.

The artistic employment of scenery is a subject since the 17-th century which, in the meantime, has overcome the romantically transfigured look at nature and reached for a long time also a political level.

„Like no other medium the artistic representation of scenery is suited to reflect the role of the individual in the world or the look of the Individual at his respective environment: Scenery view is always also a world view “, one can read in the only recently appeared catalogue to the topical exhibition in Bochum „scenery as a world view, art of the 17-th century up to present painting, photographs, videoinstallations and works on paper “ .

The purpose of my stay in Denmark is the production of a video which finds establishing points to the topical debate with the subject Sea and Destruction. Besides, I would like to develop a series of preceding videoworks. In these I deal with the break between classical painting and moving picture (see below). After I dealt in these works with the characteristics of portrait and still life, i would like to make the transfer to scenery representation. In the area around the Danish city of Skagen which has become famous in art history because of its resident artist's colony at the end of the 19-th century, the artistic work will be developed.

Skagen

Skagen is the most northern city of Denmark and lies at the north point of Jutland. There Kattegat and Skagerrak, i.E the North Sea and the Baltic Sea flow together directly and clearly recognizably. This geographic specific feature brings beside the phenomenon of diametrically crashing waves also a special quality of the light with itself, brought in the 19-th century many European painters to work in Skagen.

This artist's group attained under the name "Skagenpainters" in the 80s and 90s of the 19-th century international meaning and above all, dedicated themselves to open-air painting. The painters worked in the tradition of the French school of Barbizon and its realistic and naturalistic expression means and also approached impressionism strongly. As the most significant representatives of the Skagenpainters count Peder Severin Krøyer and the married couple Michael and Anna Ancher.

P.S. Krøyer painting one of his models

Video and painting – moment and time

Painting is in itself a static medium. In the naturalistic painting the painting shows a "snapshot". By contrast one of the essential traits of the medium Video is the passing of time, video is linear. In my videoworks „Jeanne D ` Arc“ and "banquet" I deal with exactly this difference betwenn the "classical" media and the "new" media: The 17-minute video "Jeanne D'Arc" of 2007 deals with the historical figure and her death on the pyre. It shows a young woman in half profile dressed with a metal breastplate before a black background. Nothing seems to occur at first sight, because the picture changes only minimally. Only with longer looking the suffering of the young woman becomes slowly clear. The video is without sound, but one sees how the respiration of the protagonist becomes heavier and heavier and slowly sweat drops form on her face. Although the scenery becomes more and more dramatic, the look directed in the distance of the young woman up to the end remains unbroken. The actress was filmed in a sauna to find a correspondence of the emotional processes in physical ones. The aesthetics and, above all, the settlement of the light are leant to classical painting, especially to the portrait Johanna von Orleans of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Videostill from „Jeanne D’Arc“, 2007

The work "banquet" of 2010 shows a table covered with dishes, wine and flowers. The table cloth is laid in folds, the whole scenery is illuminated in subdued, yellowish light. The staging of the dishes and the drape of the table cover strongly remind of the Dutch banquet still life of the 17-th century, especially the work of Pieter Claesz. The static display is suddenly interrupted by two cats who jump on the table and start to eat the dishes. Two still life originate from this intervention now – the one arranged before the animals appearance and the new still life, changed by the interaction of the animals. The cats are absolutely black before a black background, thereby getting a mystic quality and reminding of shadows - the picture is animated from itself.

      Videostills from „Banquet“, 2010

In the project planned on Nordjütland I will develop a videowork outgoing from the work of Peder Severin Kroyers and one of his probably best known pictures („Boys having a bath“), combining the aspects of scenery portrait and videoperformance. The approach to developing the video will correspond to the open-air painting, it originates in situ. In the pictures of Kroyers, the ptotagonists are shown by the sea, which they enter hesitantly, if at all. This corresponds to the romantic picture of nature at that time in which man is full of reverence to the inspired nature. I would like to take up this view of nature of the time which is also to be felt, for example, in the works of Heinrich Heine and David Caspar Friedrich and develop it.

P.S. Kroyer „Boys taking a bath“

The videoperformance will be developed in the line where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. Even when the sea is quiet, high waves will form there. Therefore, bathing is forbidden and swimming is extremely dangerous in the strong current. The popular custom, of standing with one leg in the North Sea and the other in the Baltic Sea, turns out to be a strength-robbing balancing act.

North- and Baltic sea, Skagen

This moment the balance, symbolically standing for a position between the forces of nature and a struggle for balance between East Europe and Western Europe is a starting point for the development of a videoperformance. An important part of my previous work was always leading a protagonist to his physical and emotional borders. Whether it was endless laughter, chin-ups, holding breath or resisting heat ("joker" in 2008, "breath" in 2009, Klimmzug in "2009/2010", Jeanne D'Arc “ in 2007).

In the new work I would like to put the protagonists sea and man into conflict with each other. The fight for physical balance in the waves should stand, on this occasion, as a symbol for two aspects: On the one hand, the internal fight of the person for a balance with itself in harmony with nature, almost lost to us nowadays. On the other hand for the global balance between man and nature, which is nowadays practically measured only by ecological and economic relevance.