THE CHARON CYCLE
COLLAB WITH TICK TACK BELGIUM
The Charon Cycle is a program of 4 video sessions - 1 per week - curated by Videodrome Paris for Cinema TICK TACK. Attuned to its core concept consisting in the alternative curation and diffusion of video art, Videodrome Paris, a platform devoted to the exploration of moving image-based experimentations, was invited to conceive a 4 weeks-long program specifically designed for Cinema TICK TACK, in consideration of its engagement for emerging art and its unique site settings.
Indeed, TICK TACK’s Window on the World - type of installation in his iconic brutalist building, has strongly inspired the Videodrome Team who imagined a narrative based on the antique reference of the Vitrine: the cabinet of a spirited collector who gathered art and science objets from all around the world, with the purpose to acquire knowledge about a device, satisfy his own curiosity or impress his visitors by a collection of apparat, expressing pompous splendour. The Charon Cycle questions what a contemporary video cabinet would look like through the prism of 4 selected key objects referring to the specificities of the medium. An easel, a gamepad , a diary and a hourglass, are alternatively placed in the lower window « the Vitrine », while in the upper window related- videos are projected through the white cube to the street. The passerby, as a modern visitor, is guided by these objects towards the selection of artworks and immersed in this international, multiform window: the video medium.
The Cycle takes its name from the antique Ferryman Charon, the mythological « carrier », bringing the souls to the other side.
Omnipresent from the origin of narration, the figure or the « Carrier » vector of messages and guide of men, is the archetype of the media as a conductive body, sign of communication, the circulation of information and diverse other exchanges. The first written reference to the use of this figure in the art is given by Alberti in his De Pictura, mentioning a character which presence acts as a warning to the viewers, inviting them to engage with the artwork. The same Alberti who described art as a « Window open on the world ».
For this cycle, the 4 objects play the part of the Carriers: Each have been carefully chosen as a reference to the video medium and a key opening a theorical framework for the interpretation of the films projected.
These 4 symbolic objets crystalize the essence of the medium, its background, its characteristics, its future and the numerous phenomenons at stake during a viewing experience. Not only they serve has catalysers directing the viewers’ interpretations, offering a base for their understanding of the video selection, but they also open a broader question on the origin of the medium and its ability to provide a support for sensitive experiences through a wide range of narratives. At the end, the body of the film itself, this complex medium encompassing time and space, is in its own the Carrier conveying sensitive messages beyond the narratives.
1 - The Easel
Is the support of the art creation, symbol of the art process and of the medium as a sensitive body (painted, cut, elongated, structured and unstructured, burned etc.) vector of the message in itslef. The video process erased this tool from its core, but it remains an allegory of the art medium as a matter to define and test, as well as a statement including video into the hierarchy of the arts.
2 - The Gamepad
Refers to the the notion of movement (body and mind), the gesture at the base of the art process as well as the mimetism between natural phenomenon of the brain and the video medium playing the game of memory, editing, flashback etc. The gamepad questions the control that we have on our owns mouvement and decisions. Associating video games to the video art movement is also a desire to confront these two disciplines that have so often inter-influenced each others.
3 - The Diary
In homage of Jonas Mekas, we wanted to include a diary as part of the symbol of video art. It reflects the intimacy, the poetry of an instinctive as well as universal language, dealing with the noiton of community and identity, made of sound and light.
4 - The Hourglass
Time is the added value of video. Its own very unique element compare to other main forms or art such as painting, sculpture and architecture. The video artists have learned to master this element to offer unparalleled treatments to manifest a presence or an absence, an action or the wait before the storm. The sensation of life.