REVIEW: DIVA FAIR PARIS 2007 · SHIGEKO KUBOTA TRIBUTE
By Macu Moran
This year, Le Louvre des Antiquaries at the Place du Palais Royal glamorously hosted DIVA Paris 2007, the art fair focused in Video art, scheduled in conjunction with Photo Paris. Fifteen galleries were represented in this worldwide itinerant DIVA fair.
Gallery Walsh projected on the facade of the building the spectacular work of the“DJ of Light,”Jongbum Choi. In this piece, the artist controls the colorful images with one hand, while with the other playing already created music. At their booth, Gallery Walsh presented the work of the Beijing artist Zhou Xiaohu “Gooey Gentleman,” 2002, where the body of a man serves as the canvas of an animation, thereby becoming part of the work. The drawings of a sexy woman dancing relate with the man on whose chest they are projected, thus composing a gracefully visual projection.
Impressively beautiful was the work by Coniglio Viola, les enfants terribles of Italian art. Tomaso Renoldi Bracco Gallery’s booth presented their exhibition “The two of us”, where Fabrice Coniglio and Andrea Raviola represent their own infancy through photographic tales of time and reality, composing an astonishing trip to the early experiences of two cute boys. Inside of the gallery was the premiere of the video piece “Wind will take us”, 2007, ed.3/3, where two children appear behind the bars of a jail, creating a metaphor of how work can give eternal life to the artist while also immobilizing him.
Parisian gallery KernotArt featured the work of Italian artists that mainly focused in graphic digital image elaborations. The images were made through graphic drawing, digital photography and computer programming, in a similar vain as the work of Michelangelo Penso and Giancarlo Dell’Antonia.
Director Alberta Pane also successfully exhibited the work of Maria Rebecca Ballestra“Wen-ci is catholic,” a 3 minutes piece that records the inner conversations of a catholic Chinese girl who, after living in a small village in the south of Italy, discovers new aspects of catholic rituals, tradition and iconography.
In his work, Swiss artist Thomas G. critically reviews reused internet and magazine images by extrapolating them from their early context. Gallery Gilles Peyroulet & Cie. exhibited two of his video works at the fair. One of them remixes the speech of Al Pacino in the Oliver Stone movie “Any Given Sunday,” with edited footage from the movie “The Fine Line”, in a conscious allegory of the relation between the language of sport and that of war.
His other featured piece, “Downtown Panthom,” is strange footage he received from a girl that he met one night in New York and never saw again. The tape resulted to have riskily recorded Ground Zero from a spot where she was not supposed to step on. According the gallery’s director, Dominique Chenivesse, the phantom of the title recalls at the same time to the situation, the girl and the location.
New York based Videoart dealer and curator Elga Wimmer, featured the Indian artist Sonia Khurana whose work is dominated by her own body. Wimmer’s gallery space in New York is also currently exhibiting her show, in which the performance “Bird,” 2000 can be viewed until the end of the month.
At the booth, Wimmer selected two of her most recent works: “Flower Carrier”, a work in progress from 2000-2006, where Khurana presents a woman tired of external influences by capturing her walking through the streets with her sight focused in the flower she carries along in her hands. The sound of the piece starts with the strong power of Japanese drums and finishes with the vulnerability of a flute’s symphony. Her other video work exhibited was “Head/Hand,” 2004, 7’30”, ed.5/5, a very much plastic piece, where a white hand seems to model the face of a beautiful black men inside of a contrasting aesthetic.
The Gallerist Anne Lettrée brought some of the installations of *llnd, a French artist couple, present in the collection of Bernard Arnaud. In their work, he normally takes care of the sound while she is in charge of the visuals, composing very complex interactive installations that produce real time footage. That is certainly the case in “Alter Factory 240506”, a documentation of one of their real time installation performances, and based on the adaptation of “Frankenstein’s Bride.” It is produced with “kinotoys,” sound-chromic instruments that synchronize sound and images.
At the booth there was also an interactive installation called “The tribale Septuor,” in which 7 players have the ability to develop their own piece, and acquire it in a limited and certified pen-drive. This installation consists in 7 vinyl records that direct the performance of 7 graphic animated personages projected on the screen.
Heart Gallery brought to their stand the work of Yann Minh“Noogenesis,” 2006, 4”30’ ed.10/10 +2 a.c. The video is made with Cinema 4D and mixes 3D modeling and animation with 16:9 and high definition footage. The piece recreates a trip to the future where a machine makes possible the fantasy of virtual reality sex and robots dedicated to human pleasure.
Taiwanese Gallery Grand Siecle brought the most recent works of Wang Ya-Hui, the artist awarded in the last edition of the LOOP Art fair for her work “Visitors,” and who was also present at DIVA Paris. Ya-Hui’s poetic sensibilities reveal her childhood memories and her respect for Taiwan. The gallery also presented the work of the experimental film-maker Wu Chun Hui, an artist devoted to the texture of film, and who delicately introduces the language of painting into that of film through fluid images that recall layers of memories.
Gallery Aki, also from Taipei, showed the work of Hou-I-Ting who in the video “Magic”, 2005, 4’37” absorbs images projected onto her own body, thereby transforming herself magically into a manga personage. She exaggerates the physicality of herself to question the identity of women today. By utilizing social and cultural contexts, Hou punctuates real and virtual female images, as well as general human existences.
Korean artist Yun Aiyoung, who lives and works in Paris, presented a few of her pieces at the stand of the French gallery Mamia|Bretesché. In her works Yun emphasizes parallel invisible worlds. Very interested in the subconscious, she mixes dreamlike images coming from reality, often revealing desires and premonitions of a mental space where time is relative. The gallery also showed works by Lucca Curci and Fabiana Roscioli.
Tada Masami, Japanese artist brought by Soh Gallery of Tokio, presented “Sound Encounter 20051125,” which included photographs and video that are essential installation elements in his performances.
Another Japanese artist, Chikara Matsumoto, presented by the Parisian gallery Yukiko Kawase, exhibited an animation made out of thousands of tiny hand drawings titled “Gold Tiger Eye.” The work serves as a record of the stone that protects him during his trip and also as an exercise to depict his adventure in a scrolling painting that helps him come back to himself.
“Dreaming” by Daisuke Nagaoka is a piece where a man discovers a magic book that allows him to make his dreams come true, but in the end becomes frightening. Watching the work of the cartoonist, whose technique involves erasing and correcting his pencil drawings, creates a visual expression in our hearts, showing intangible elements that drive us to a real inner world.
Dominique Furgé’s “Spirit” was present at the booth of the French agency Object de Production. The work, made in 2005, is the first of a series of numerical abstract films that the artist has been making since 2003. The pieces focus on the narrative abilities of non-figurative images. His work belongs to the history of abstract cinema, concurrent to the development of the modern abstract painting, which opened the era of numerical revolution.
It has been fantastic to accomplish this appointment for Videoart lovers uniquely surrounded by the magic atmosphere of an Autumn in Paris.