It is the extension of Vutuc’s long-term questioning of the physical medium as an effective format to relay information by exploring and exposing its inherent limitations, and of the credibility of appearances as strong as tangible, echoing and referencing referencing and echoing experiences and productions from his 2018 George Pomp It Up residency in Nancy, France (« SCRATCHING ON SURFACE OF BLURRY ECHOING, THE GRAIN »); Le Bal, Paris; Friche La Belle de Mai, Marseille alongside („Fares Maatar, Mohamed Novri and Youssef Duhab“); and, more lately, Berlin with Labor Neunzehn/Avarie (« KAMERA SERIES N.7 »).
One reoccurring theme in Vutuc’s work is the transmission of information, complete with its natural selection, alteration and deformation throughout time. Here, captured images - fragmented, curated cuts of reality - are presented to be not just scanned, but challenged in their fidelity and density by means of sequencing; Vutuc pairs up the seemingly static markings of photocopiers, celluloid, Super 8 film and 16mm film with projection techniques reassembling layers of surfaces and transparencies as varying vibrations also audibly resonate, life fuses with machinery and perplexity, then perspective are instilled by a duality of projectors competing for validity in their respective outputs.
The raised question being, can we ever step behind the projected information and still grasp the full picture? How far can we really walk away from our stands? Vutuc sees the « scratching on the surface of blurry dream and fantasy as the only existing reality, based on self-creation », echoing his own treatment of materials, defying the familiarity of form, demonstrating how all images are products.
Text by Aymeric Nocus
Performance avec projecteurs S8, 16mm et micros contacts – 20 à 30 minutes
Un des thèmes récurrents dans le travail de Sergej Vutuc est la transmission de l’information, avec sa sélection naturelle, son altération et sa déformation au fil du temps.
Les images proposées ici – des coupes fragmentées de la réalité – sont présentées pour être non seulement analysées, mais remises en question dans leur fidélité et leur densité par le biais d’un séquençage. Il associe les traces apparemment statiques des photocopieurs à la pellicule Super 8 et 16 mm et par le biais de la projection il réassemble des couches de surfaces et de transparences, lors que différentes vibrations sonores produites par la matière résonnent de manière audible. La vie fusionne avec la machinerie et la perspective est instillée par la dualité de projecteurs rivalisant dans l’affirmation de leurs images.
In this projection evening, technical problems seem to be the order of the day.
Only Sergej's performance, which dispenses with the digital projector, was able to take place.
And it starts with the black screen, with the hum of three old movie projectors, followed by the furtive appearance of an abstract image.
Then another that immediately disappears.
A sound distorts, and a few heads turn to watch the live act of the performer behind them.
These furtive images are not the work of a montage, but directly from his hand, which hides and releases, then hides again the projection organ.
To make the image disappear, the hand is simply placed in front of the projector.
Old bearded Sergej plays with his projector like a child.
And those archaic images, as if he were simply discovering cinema.
Even more archaic than the Frères Lumières.
It's more like prehistoric men had found three projectors from the '50s, like they found the monolith in "2001, A space odyssey".
Then, several projectors light up, the images add up, start to remain fixed, continuing to show images, like an unstoppable rain of abstract cave paintings.
We're all in this room discovering prehistoric cinema.
And then he adds a light, behind his projector
And color comes out of the frame, illuminating us too.
White, blue, red, green
Soon, we'll all be part of this image and projection.
Sometimes the projector's shadow passes over the screen.
We discover the tool, the hand that obsesses over it, trying to include us.
As if the camera hadn't yet begun to capture the real world, but was already trying, impulsively, bulimically, to catch us, to integrate us into its frame.
Struggling so that one day the real might become an image... without really succeeding yet.
For me, the performance was felt in three stages: the struggle to achieve it, the failure and destruction of the image (like breaking a toy that can't really come to life.) and then the new impetus, new impetus and perseverance, as the sound itself took on the allure of a race - yes, run! Run again, image! Run, Sergej! Don't give up! Soon you'll be inventing cinema! Soon you'll catch us and we'll be on your screen.
Then this perseverance becomes a trance, a madness, like when you fight for an ideal that technically you can't yet achieve, and lose your mind in obsession.
At one point, the projector stopped projecting drawings. We were alone in the colors of these small manual lights, stromboscopic or red, by bicycle lights. We, who were in the image to come, were only for this potential future.
At another point, a flash of an image, a more focused image: like the memory of a gesture, starting again but beginning to channel itself, to economize.
Sergej has shown us the gesture that we don't see when we watch the trains of the Ciota region, that we don't see when we watch technological history spinning before our eyes. Because time moves too fast, and because time and history don't take on the humanity that made them, they'll never tell us their true origins, so we've forgotten them, we think genius happens in the head, whereas Sergej reminds us that before any great idea there's first the intelligence of the hands, the fiddling, the manipulation, the need to touch, to create, to tinker. Hands-free.
I know there were times when we were faced with just a white screen, and I could see the future of all the cinema that was to come after this discovery. In other words, all cinema from the last century to the present day. While everywhere we go we return to the past, and it's terrible, Sergej makes us realize that the past was also once a future. That if we ignore the point of departure of such a great art as cinema, then of course we can only go backwards. But if we look again at this white screen, this battle of hands, this race, this necessity... Then we'll be moving forward. We're still only prehistoric men.
Text by Chad Colson