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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathImmersion/Participation
Film Stills (Sherman, Cindy)

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fountains, and bizarre grottoes provide evidence for the existence of an elementary need for illusionary effects that imitate and intensify real life. With the ascent of the Gothic novel in this era, themes such as the experience of emotion as an overwhelming maelstrom and emotional stimulation as a medium for entertainment were further developed, ultimately moving far beyond Friedrich Schlegel’s prophecy of the «escalation of the interesting.»

The Aesthetic of the Remake

As recently as Cindy Sherman's series of «Film Stills» or Jeff Wall’s dramatically staged light boxes, contemporary artists have made the seductive power of filmed images their own. Degraded to a mass medium by the industry in Hollywood, film has experienced its artistic elevation through the medium of video. Contemporary video installations do not simply employ the (identificatory) illusionary effects that make commercial entertainment films successful. They also themselves employ interpretive approaches, thus consciously bringing about the disillusionment of the observer, creating a palpable distance from the visual


effects of cinematographic staging. One hundred years after the birth of film, the artistic «re-make» uses various methods and degrees of alienation to return film classics to their elementary structures, employing analytical procedures to shed critical light upon the history of the medium’s effects. The «original» is made strange by contemporary artists, who thus explore the history of the cinema’s effects, the products of an apparatus which have become a constant in our processes of reception: from the «cinematic character» of the black space, to narrative norms (which captures the narrative flow of the plot in sequences of images), to (continuity) editing, which enables the viewer to experience the illusion of «real life.» Accordingly, for artists of the post-cinematic era, cinema and film are not interesting primarily as examples of genres, but as a repository of visual raw material that floods the pictorial worlds of ordinary culture. Two general tendencies can be discerned in their working methods: video installations by artists such as Pipilotti Rist or Doug Aitken react affirmatively to the illusionist, affective principles of the cinematic parameters by using perfectly harmonized image and

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