ART SHEFFIELD 05: Spectator T is a city-wide contemporary art event which takes place within Sheffield’s major galleries, project spaces, non-gallery venues and public sites from 28 October to 27 November 2005. The programme includes a mix of emerging and established artists and comprises existing works and new commissions, all responding to a fictional Spectator T who is antagonistic to art.
As part of this programme Site is showing three international works which deal in different ways with the languages of film and the appropriation and re-use of existing material. The works have in common a relation to the grammar and structures of film and a critical stance towards representations and perceptions of art.
Christian Jankowski has his works The Hunt and My Life as a Dove appropriated for a major movie produced by Columbia Tri-Star Pictures, in which a female video artist named Rosa is the main protagonist. He allows the feature film to incorporate his works in exchange for the production of his own project utilising the same actors and cameras. Jankowski’s video work, Rosa is a film within a film which freezes the normal movie flow as the actors respond in their own words to Jankowski’s set of questions. The clichés the filmmakers employ to create their art world story inspire Jankowski’s inquiries. Courtesy Klosterfelde Gallery
Packard’s work defies any kind of description, even by art standards. When confronted by French journalists and British art curators Packard often elicits more baffled and nonplussed facial reactions than any disheveled, eccentric American filmmaker ever could. On the Internet Movie Database under his mini-bio written by a prominent magazine writer it begins with the statement “The name which could have been synonymous with Steven Spielberg” yet if one looks further on his extremely pessimistic and depressing website they would find user comments such as “if filmmaking has been your dream then I would urge you to reevaluate your goals because from what I’ve seen your in trouble” and “you should do yourself and the world a favour and just kill yourself” (actual comments from people who picked up the DVD of his 2002 feature film Reflections of Evil, of which he left 22,000 DVD’s laying around Los Angeles in a massive guerilla marketing campaign) The works for Art Sheffield 05: Spectator T are high octane trailers for proposed feature films which appropriate and subvert the familiar vocabulary of Hollywood’s different genres from Slasher movie to horror and Sci-Fi.
Antoine Prum’s work took on the structure of the revenge western, but added an additional level of appropriation and art world critique. Mondo Veneziano: High Noon in the Sinking City addressed a wide variety of theoretical discourses currently on the contemporary art agenda, confronting them with a series of unexpected and spectacular events. Cast in an abandoned Venice (which is actually a film set in Luxembourg) Mondo Veneziano narrated a meeting of four protagonists, representative of key players in the art world, who appeared to conduct a complex theoretical debate. But their soliloquious confrontation — an insidious patchwork of quotations from recent specialist literature, paraphrasing the widely used “post-modern” technique of sampling — was interrupted by a string of bloody killings, largely inspired by common cinema genres such as gore or splatter movies.