Atmosphere like in a motion capturing studio
On a large screen in the German pavilion in a room as black as night, Hito Steyerl is showing her video installation. It especially broaches the issue of the power of the internet and the connection between the physical and digital levels. The former martial arts fighter plays not only with dancing elements but also with computer game technologies. Using so-called motion capturing, it is possible to digitalise human movements. That is facilitated by attaching reflectors to a person’s joints and recording the movements with a red light camera. A figure can be awakened to life on the computer in the 3D grid. Just as artists in the video play with these elements, in reality they are also playing with their audience. Interspersed by blue LED light strings, a pattern of large squares arises. It is similar to the 3D grid in the video presentation which shows how movements are captured, analysed and converted on the computer. That makes the viewers, who can take a place on a deckchair in front of the screen, feel like they’re in a motion capturing studio. It appears as if their movements are being recorded and projected in front of their eyes on the large screen. The matt-grey and low-reflection surface structure of everroll accordingly contributes to giving the audience the feeling they are part of the presentation. Moreover, the material dampens not only footfall and impact noise, but also the entire light reflex so the room is optimally darkened and the artificial light is not reflected. As Steyerl’s work met a strong response, many visitors are put into the newly featured show cases since not all have space on the deckchairs. But the fatigue during the long standing times is counteracted by the slightly yielding everroll flooring, so they stand pleasantly and comfortably during the approximately 20 minute video.
European State Minister opens the German pavilion
The opening of the German pavilion, this year called the “Factory” and situated centrally on the exhibition premises of the Giardini della Biennale di Venezia next to its neighbours Great Britain and France, was held on 7 May 2015. The State Minister for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, Michael Roth MP and the President of ifa (Institute for Foreign Relations) Ursula Seiler-Albring along with the head of the Photographic Collection at the Museum Folkwang and this year’s trustee Florian Ebner were also present. The initiator and main contributor for the German pavilion, which stands under monument protection in Italy, is the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its federal minister appoints a trustee who is co-responsible for the selection of the artists. Likewise the ifa has also been commissioned since 1971 by the Foreign Ministry with the coordination and realisation of the German pavilion. The Institute for Foreign Relations is an independent intermediary organisation and promotes international artistic and cultural exchange. The main sponsor is the Sparkassen Cultural Fund of the Deutschen Sparkassen- und Giroverband (a bank association).
“Sala Darsena”; an additional room with everroll at the Biennale
To provide enough space for all the artists and exhibitions, a concrete slab was installed horizontally in the pavilion to give rise to several levels and to put a discontinuity into the pompous architec-ture of the National Socialist era. Hito Steyerl is presenting her work in the lower level. Since this year the World Expo is taking place at the same time in Milan, the world’s most important art biennial is open one month longer than usual, so the video installation and all other exhibitions can be viewed for six months. Steyerl is currently residing in Berlin as an artist, filmmaker and author.
The everroll floor from Bad Berleburg is not only installed in her room but also in the “Sala Darsena” cinema auditorium at the Biennale in Venice and has more than 1,409 seats. Even through floor covering optically appears to be plastic, the floor still has a com-pletely different effect than PVC, linoleum or textiles. Here also, its matt, dark-grey surface supports the desired lighting situation.
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