From the 19th of March 2005 Alexander Gutke showed two new works at Baltic Art Center framed by the BAC Production in Residence programme. The two pieces ”Obscured by Clouds” and ”Exploded View” invite a poetic reading with technical overtones; one piece looks out from the inside towards the infinitely vast, the other piece undertakes a journey into a tiny microscopic format. What the pieces have in common is that they show a possibility for reflection and a point of view that normally eludes us.
In earlier film work such as “The White Light of the Void” and “Solo” Gutke has worked with images that are reflexive and retain moments that would otherwise be impossible to re-experience.
OBSCURED BY CLOUDS
(The sky above viewed 1/10000 seconds ago)
The image of Visby and Gotland is characterised by the sublime landscape and its proximity to history, that constantly reminds us that time passes inevitably despite futile attempts to collect, archive and preserve. Gutke creates works where the image is only fleetingly registered and not stored; where the image of the moment that has already passed is allowed to pass in front of our eyes yet another time to then be left to our transient memory.
”Obscured by Clouds” is a piece that formally relates to a Camera Obscura as it is not a prior recording but a real time connection that is made to a view outside the room. The sky that is projected onto the interior wall consists of light that is registered by a camera positioned on the roof of the gallery. The data is transformed to a video signal that is in turn reconfigured into a laser signal. The signal is then transported with the speed of light, through a 20 kilometres long fibre optic cable, to again become transformed into a video signal and finally it appears as the projected circle shaped light beam that falls upon the wall.
The light has been slowed down with a 1/10000 of a second through the imposed redirection. This is something that our society would deem to be irrational but which here draws attention to the inevitable lapse of time.
The film “Fantastic Voyage” from 1966 is a science fiction story where a team of researchers is reduced to a micropscopic size with the help of a miniature submarine that travels through the blood circulation system of a human body.
Alexander Gutke’s work ‘Exploded View” presents an inner journey through a Kodak Carousel slide projector. Travelling millimetre by millimetre, the images show a cyclical movement in the interior of the projector through lenses, wires and other technical parts. The technical self-referentiality of the piece can almost work on a bodily and spiritual level where the formal transformation between techniques and material also give room for a poetic reading. Gutke’s own references to inner journeys are made via literature, film and a spiritual search, for example in the novels by Jorge Luis Borges where time and space meet and cross each other in labyrinthine narrative forms.
The production of ”Exploded View” has been supported by the Arts Grants Committee in Sweden.