Installation view, Angela Bulloch, Antimatter 3, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Löwenbräu Areal, Zurich, 2004
Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present Antimatter3, an exhibit displaying the new works of British artist Angela Bulloch, born in 1966.
Already in January 2000, Angela Bulloch presented works from the Pixel Box series. Conceptualized specifically for this gallery space, Prototypes displayed objects assembled from modular elements, a concept that the artist had just developed. In each of these simple cubes is an RGB light system that, like a television screen, can generate up to 16 million colors. In this system, all of the elements can be connected with one another and programmed with any picture data desired.
Since then, the artist has further developed this body of work, creating among other works expansive pixel walls in which material from film and television is displayed. For example, her 2001 exhibit Z Point, shown in the Kunsthaus Glarus in the same year and in the Beyeler Foundation in Basel the following year, draws from a film by Antonioni. In her 2002 show entitled Macro World: One Hour3 and Canned, exhibited at Schipper & Krome in Berlin and currently at the Aspen Art Museum, the television channel BBC World was similarly transformed.
Antimatter3 in the Negative Zone, the central work in this gallery’s exhibit, is based upon the film The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, 1997), a dark and psychologically-probing portrait of a family in the 1970s. The artist dissolved a twenty-seven-minute sequence of the film so finely that the film data are reduced to thirty-two pixels and replayed on a wall with thirty-two times an eighth of a cubic meter of pixels. The meaning of this work does not exhaust itself with the execution of a technical process; rather, it lies in the paradox that it establishes through the act of spatialism: an object has become antimatter.
In the first scene of The Ice Storm, the film’s character Paul Hood recounts, »in issue number 141 of The Fantastic Four (a legendary American cartoon series), published in November 1973, Reed Richards has to use his antimatter weapon on his own son Annihilus, who has turned into a human atom bomb. It was a typical predicament for the Fantastic Four (…) because they weren’t like other superheroes; they were more like a family. And the more power they had, the more harm they could do to each other (…) without even knowing it. That was the meaning of the Fantastic Four: that a family is like your own personal antimatter. Your family is the place you emerge from and the place you return to when you die. And that’s the paradox: the closer you’re drawn back in, the deeper into the void you go.«
As she has already done in her earlier pixel works, Angela Bulloch constructs a discourse of tension between the film’s narrative and the formal scope of the work. The well-encoded source material has been so edited that the film’s contents have been distilled, through an extremely abstract process, into a game of color and time.
With regard to thematics and its aesthetic movement, some scenes of the film are so (literally) dark that, were they transferred to the pixel wall, they would hardly convey any information. In such cases, the artist changed the film clip, isolating and then animating such elements from the background as a blanket, or a picture hanging on the wall, ultimately to reassemble them into the picture sequence.
This intervention in the course of the resultant material is emphasized and further expressed in the other works displayed in the exhibit. In each of the four small pixel objects, one of these substitutes is programmed and compressed into a miniature version.
The soundtrack to Antimatter3 in the Negative Zone was composed specifically for this work by Tarwater, consisting of Bernd Jestram und Ronald Lippok, who since the mid-90s have been one of the most innovative and influential members of Berlin’s electronic music movement. Their current album is entitled Dwellers on the Threshold and was produced by the well-known independent label Kitty-Yo.
At 10:00 p.m., after the opening, Tarwater will play a live electronic set at the Blauer Saal, Limmatstrasse 264. Before and after this concert there will also be DJ-sets from Angela Bulloch, Guy Healey (London), and Christopher Gurk (Berlin).