Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain

Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain

41, Rue Notre Dame L-2240 Luxembourg

Tél : (+352) 22 50 45 Lu, Mer, Ven 11h00 - 19h00, Je 11h00 - 20h00
 Sam / Dim / jours fériés 11h00 - 18h00 fermé le Mardi;

Memory Lab IV – photography challenges history : Transit

In his film project Home to go, Adrian Paci has inspired himself from his personal experience to deal with collective history in projects that highlight the consequences of conflicts and social revolutions, revealing how identity is conditioned by the socio-economic context.
In 1997, Adrian Paci escaped violent riots in Albania to take refuge, with his family, in Italy. On his arrival in the country, he temporarily abandoned painting and sculpture in favour of video, thus exploring new cinematic languages and means of expression. His experience of exile, the shock of separation and adaptation to a new place define the context of his first videos, through which he attempts to discover the roots of his past.
“The fact of being at a crossroads, at the frontier of two separate identities, underlies all my work on film.”
The angel of history, mentioned by Walter Benjamin in the Thesis on the Philosophy of History, is the inspiration for the film of Aura Rosenberg. Compressed into five minutes, this film animates the ruin and progress of history, starting with the formation of planets from gas clouds through to the present. The pile, culled from an online pictorial archive, depicts Benjamin’s single catastrophe. A flash of original paradise interrupts the cataclysmic momentum and reminds the viewer of the dialectic of history in which the past can be recalled only in relation to the demands of the present.
Vladimir Nikolić’s The First Murder is a two-channel video installation showing a reconstruction of the filmed assassination of Yugoslavian King Aleksandar I Karađorđević on 9 October 1934 in Marseille.
The new pictures were recorded in a same way and on the very same spots where the original cameras were standing in 1934. This would not be possible, if La Canebière street – the place of the murder – had not remained almost the same as 70 years ago. There is no murder in the reconstructed images, only people on a street following their own paths and daily routines.
The footage was distributed at the time, among others, by Universal Newsreels and introduced as “the most amazing pictures ever made”. From our perspective, we can see it as the first murder in a world of media, meaning the first murder of the twentieth century.

M+M – seven days

The artists duo M+M (Marc Weis and Martin De Mattia) mark the conclusion of their video cycle 7 Tage (7 Days) with the eponymous exhibition at Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain. The series of seven film installations began in 2009 and the films were created one after the other over a period of almost seven years. For the current exhibition, the two artists have completed the final two episodes and are presenting the entire series for the first time in a solo show.
Visitors making their way through the exhibition will repeatedly encounter the same protagonist, played by actor Christoph Luser, as he faces a number of apparently mundane yet utterly contradictory situations over the course of the “seven days”. His ambivalent character, melancholic or menacing by turns, takes on a different, surprising aspect in each of the seven dual-channel installations. The result is a cinematic kaleidoscope of heterogeneous personality traits, human interactions and highly charged situations.
All seven film installations refer to key scenes from different movies, from the horror film Tenebre by Dario Argento to the dance film Saturday Night Fever by John Badham. But M+M often greatly distance themselves from the original film scene, investing their narrative with an interpretation all its own. The simplicity and economy of dialogue and action could come across as banal were it not for the tension and potent significance of the scenes. Each installation consists of two versions, projected in parallel, of the reinvented scene. Though synchronised, in most cases the two are strikingly dissimilar with regard to their emotional content. In the twin scenes, the protagonist simultaneously meets two different people – someone he talks to, imaginary lovers, murder victims. In Montag (Monday), for example, the same conversation takes place between the man and his wife and, in parallel, between the man and his daughter. Or, in Samstag (Saturday), the lead character dances with a girl and at the same time with a young man. Instead of clear-cut categories – family relations, erotic encounters, etc. – the scenes present a range of emotional nuances; the actions and shots of the two parallel versions are matched frame for frame and make constant reference to one another. What emerges is a multi-layered tapestry of gestures, music and text. A kind of oscillation sets in between the almost perfectly congruent dialogues and actions of the dual projections.
The common denominator of 7 Tage is the feeling of a state of crisis simmering just beneath the surface, an ambivalent state of uncertainty where it seems anything could happen, where the protagonist perhaps faces a turning point, conscious or otherwise, whether as lover, dancer, or murderer.
The choice of scenes is determined above all by M+M’s interest in typical human relationships and their psychological dimension. M+M appropriate the language of film in order to address a central social theme, the formation and dissolution of identity – as an individual, couple or collective. Whether assumed or projected, identity is invariably perceived and produced through language, facial expression, body language and the relationship between individuals with many complex interactions, connections and tensions. M+M’s parallel projection of two situations just ever so slightly out of alignment reveals the fissures and contradictions inherent in the character of the protagonist. In all “seven days” viewed collectively, they come more radically still to the fore. The identity of the protagonist seems unstable, nomadic. It consists of sudden changes triggered by fresh encounters or the contexts, but also – on a second semantic level – by the film genre from which the scene derives its inspiration.