„We are able to clear our speech and work on our rhetoric skills. But to control what our body is doing in the meantime is much more difficult. Gestures and moves are much stronger than words – according to academic research, the human facial expression alone offers about 10.000 micro moments. TIMECODE operates
without any words.“ (Petra Lottje)
A romantic photo shooting. A just beyond middle aged couple with a pigeon.
In a chamber play-like situation of TIMECODE’s central 2 channel video work the viewer adopts the perspective of an invisible photographer. By use of slow motion, picture separation and the near-complete renunciation of sound all the small things that normally remain hidden from the viewer are revealed: The details of the facial expressions and gestures show a coming and going of a staging for an external perception and a concentrating on being a couple; a constantly interrupted and then reanimated approaching and communicating, the closeness and distance of the two characters regarding the spatial aspect as well as the emotional roleplaying.
The repeatedly clutched pigeon as fragile protégé and symbol at the same time is passed back and forth between the partners. It actually gets more attention than the persons devote to each other. The animal is a connecting link and a disruptive element. Beloving tenderness and intimacy can be found in this short time play as well as insecurity, vulnerability and loneliness.
The concentrated glance into the action and the close proximity of the viewer lets the smallest movements become understandable. It enables an identification as well as sensing the extreme in details: Deeply rooted narcissism, subliminal struggling for assertion, manipulation and power in the charged relationship with a sense of mutual responsibility and concern.
In contrasting addition, the second video of the installation shows the action in real-time. It provides the viewer with a distant perspective on the couple that seems a lot more harmonious now and thus exposes the truths that we believe to find in our daily perception. A highly symbolical and associatively charged picture of feathers, eggs as well as dead and living pigeons is transparently placed on the video. In the meanwhile, photographies taken during the shooting turn out to be ambivalent pieces of evidence which make the viewer search for indications for all the things the picture is at least not able to show.
With brilliant actors (Corinna Kirchhoff and Matthias Neukirch), a sensitively led camera (Andreas Gockel) and a clear, reduced visual language Petra Lottje’s installation presents a sympathetic, tension-filled and intensive close-up of the small but complex universe of a relationship. Without creating a concrete narrative by using backgrounds, dialogues, and surroundings, this artwork is able to visualize the essence of human coexistence that might affect us and lead us to reflect on these smallest social units and beyond.
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