I feel nostalgia for the age to come.
You could call it tripping since it is imagery that does not prescribe your destination but guides you on the way to new states of mind. Its reference (for instance to experimental films of the 1970s, or tales of postcolonial scenarios in absurdum) is not meant to put you back in time or leave you informed about a matter of fact. It is finding a point of departure as a way of starting over. Trying to re-digest the latest dreamt images of the future. As always; the arrival should not precede the departure.
The re-effect is put onto something already effected, already modulated, already recognized as a modulated state, cooked over once more leaving the aesthetic well known and new at the same time. Rather than to depict an individual dream, it is a public form of dreaming out loud. A point of departure for new realities. Digesting the captured - over again - sending out an alien, a new matter!
- Pernille With Madsen
Curated by Pernille With Madsen, this exhibition is about staging the collapse between past and future times, between Utopia and its contemporary ruins, between analog and digital technologies. The works reflect how our perception follows certain patterns through different technological formats and can be transformed in space and time. Basim Magdy's film Time Laughs Back at You Like a Sunken Ship (2012) shows a man walking around an enclosed environment of isolated preservation with a mysterious reflective device. The man seems to be waiting for something that never really happens and yet all of his surroundings appear to be charged with life. A ship dancing on the horizon intertwines with ancient ruins and post-industrial landscapes, and time slowly consumes itself as a tree swings back and forth.
All of the works share a dialectic between inertia and suspense, a sense of waiting for a future that has either never happened or already taken place. In Lais Myhhra's video Not Yet (2011) we are presented with the visuals of what transpires between the act of turning on an analog TV and the formation of an image on the TV screen in slow motion. The work refers to a visual space that is both familiar and strangely unfamiliar, and that has virtually disappeared from our digital present. Like a memory in slow motion, the work points towards a space that might as well have come from the future.
Rose Kallal's video Aldebaran (2015) is named after a massive orange-red star in the constellation of Taurus. It is a mix of traditional animation techniques, video synthesis/feedback and computer animation, assembled in a hypnotic and non-linear flow and accompanied by a soundtrack made with modular synthesizers. The combination of geometrical and "primary" forms in and out of sync is reminiscent of early science fiction film, '70s experimental film, and experiments in liquid crystal visuals. It is time travel simultaneously to the past and to the future.
Common to the works is their positive "lack of definition": a focus on situations before an object, an image, or a narrative has been finalized or fallen into place; where the existing fragments let themselves be recombined in unseen or untold open forms. Pernille With Madsen's video Untitled - Restless (2016) is assembled out of filmed fragments of buildings, facades, and materials left over in her studio, all montaged together as an endless piece of scenery or touch screen moving slowly by. The flow of images balance between weightlessness and friction, where leftover materials, such as corrugated cardboard or bubble wrap, mix with more virtual elements - showing how the virtual and the actual alternately arise from each other.