Making Fantasies-Pei Shih TU Solo Exhibition
2013.11.08 ~ 12.22
2013.11.08 ~ 12.22
Animation could be taken as illusion created through quickly playing continuous images based on the characteristics of persistence of vision. It is a type of non-realistic, animated effect that is molded by human imagination and ability to create and give forms and shapes. One could even say that it is “a man-made imaginative structure.” Making Fantasies is an exhibition that explores human imagination and the essence of animation. With three animation works that do not seem to relate to each other, the exhibition is contemplation on the role of imagination in the structure of animation as well as how imagination embodies human existence, memory, and the relationship between fiction and reality through narrative.
The first single-channel video, “Last Wills,” is a collection of the last words of seven celebrities in history. With textual descriptions, Tu imagines the realization of their dying wishes in the video and put these wishes together into an animation. These last wishes vary from Franz Kafka asking his best friend, Max Brod, to destroy all his manuscripts after his death, to Beethoven wishing to have a day of pure happiness by listening to the joyful, profound sounds in nature, to Rodin hoping to have a room dedicated to Camille’s work in the Rodin Museum, etc. Whether these last wishes became true or not in history, the imaginary scenarios in this work depart from the characteristic structure of innocence (or youthfulness) in the historical development of animation, but shift its focus to the delineation of death.
The second work, “Making Fantasies,” is a three-channel video that shares the same title with the exhibition, which is created out of a large amount of documentary photographs by famous photographers. The technique is similar to a story relay of images. The artist attempts to create connections between the settings and persons in these photographs, and by doing so, forming a moving and fantastic narrative despite the fact that the narrative itself does not produce any meanings. Documentary photography emphasizes its objectivism that brings out the truthfulness and purpose of documentation of the images, which is fundamentally different from the imaginative quality of animation. By combining these two art forms, Tu aims to produce a kind of structural shift of the images.
The last video, “King Kong,” is a single-channel video based on the fictional monster film of the same title in 1933. The film largely adopted model animation technique at that time, and there were remakes in both 1976 and 2005. Tu mixes the shots on King Kong from the 1933 and 2005 versions, and dubs the video with the music scores from the 1976 version, making the work almost a clip of the best features of the three films. However, underneath the imaginative style of representation, one can detect the advancement of animation effect from looking at the stop-motion model animation in the early 1933 movie to the simulation of CGI effect in the 2005 film.
Incorporating the concept of making fantasies, this exhibition not only pays attention to the new possibilities between images and narrative, but takes a step further to ask the audience to rethink the essence of animation.
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