Something to Believe In
What constitutes dignity? In the midst of countless controversies, conflicts and never-ending news stories, in each moment we find ourselves facing choices, forced to make decisions. Truth appears to be collapsing as we lose our humanity. Society lives in overabundance while simultaneously lacking for everything, this contradiction causes hesitation when facing choices.
Even within these circumstances, we have the ability to live as independent thinkers due to our belief system. What do we see and what do we believe in? Belief does not answer all of our questions although belief can fill the space in which we seek answers. As humans, whatever our beliefs, the act of believing itself provides us with dignity. In this exhibition, each of the following artists, Mariana Hahn, Tzusoo, and William Winter provide us with various perspectives on the topic of belief.
Through the use of sound, video, photos and objects, Mariana Hahn creates her own unique world within the installation Nesthaut. Each element in this world exists as a metaphor. Believing that a woven dress holds its own memory, Hahn captures the histories of these dresses through a process of preservation. In contrast, she presents small scraps of paper containing messages that slowly fade away. Though each separate moment possibly exists on its own forever, these written messages transform with the passage of time, changing just as our surroundings. Hahn’s extended video presents changing sceneries including a sound of repeated brushing that resonates through the exhibition space, generating a ritual-like atmosphere that encourages visitors to pause for a moment in meditation.
Pulp Nonfiction by Tzusoo, is reminiscent of a four-panel cartoon strip, presenting a dialogue between characters with monotonous lines and images. Tzusoo uses broken German dialogue triggering the audience to wonder if the conversation actually occurred. The fragmentary dialogue can be either her story or the story of the audience. Do you believe that communication can happen only through language? Do grammatically perfect sentences enable complete communication? The dialogue between the characters, interpreted as that of your own or that of others is a satire of misunderstanding and violence caused by language and this form of communication.
On Mount Olympus by William Winter suggests a new form of role-playing in extended space, via the style of a role-playing video game. Audiences in Chroma key masks (the players), appear on the screen as having animal heads representing a sacrifice or as the heads of Greek gods carrying out missions, such as giving or receiving gifts. In combination with traditional video game imagery, the players on the screen exist in an augmented reality. Missions are provided to the participants that are experiencing the extended space inside of the mask, absorbing the participants/players into their newly assigned roles. Though thoroughly engrossing the limited frame and view on the screen is designed to keep the players at a distance so they remain aware, conscious of real space and the subject of the action.
Each of these artists tell a special story about belief from their own perspective. In our cities we continue to lose bits of our humanity, hindering us from living our own authentic lives. In an effort to retain our humanity and independently believe in something we continue to move forward. Ultimately it is the individual that decides what to believe in. Now more than any other time in history we crave to believe. What do you believe in?