Saturday : 9th July : 18h00 : with the artists presence
Ocean Bazar is a multi-media collaboration of two artist-filmmakers, Vivian Ostrovsky and Silvi Simon. The installation, created from 16mm film projections screened upon or through optical sculptural mechanisms or seaside ready-made objects, evokes a myriad of images and sensory effects that fabricate a dream-like ocean and seashore environment. Ostrovsky and Simon extract fragments of documented film material and project them onto objects that fracture and manipulate them, creating surroundings of deconstructed images that flicker in the exhibition space as a distant seaside memory.
The projected images in Ocean Bazar portray a range of coastline imagery spanning from landscape to marine-life to human interactions at the seashore. The films combine found Internet footage with the artists own documentary film material, creating a deliberate visual merge between personal and collective memories. This fusion of sources creates a playful transition between the halcyon days of the first personal film cameras (Super8 and 16mm) and today's digital modes of recording and distribution of media.
Although there is a conscious flirtation with digital imagery, the practice of both Vivian Ostrovsky and Silvi Simon, as well as the core of this installation, is based in the world of film and its material and ephemeral qualities.
Vivian Ostrovsky’s use of Super8 echoes early home movies and brings into mind the ways in which obsolete technologies (such as the saturated Kodachrome 40 film) evoke an immediate sense of nostalgia. Shot year after year, near Saint-Marc-sur-Mer, a beach made famous as Monsieur Hulot’s vacation spot, her film segments capture incongruously funny, “Tatiesque” moments in Loire-Atlantique life. Ostrovsky extracts peculiar mundane interactions and edits them together with seaside scenery creating rhythmic and poetic film choreographies that induce instant intimate familiarity due to the Super8's domestic quality.
Silvi Simon’s black and white images round out the seascape vision with maritime creatures and birds in flight. The footage she uses is always projected onto objects she names Filmatrucs - mechanic sculptures that change or transform the appearance of the projected image and its optical reception. These low-tech mechanisms made out of simple incorporated materials such as wire, glass, mirrors and electric motors allude reversely to early motion-picture devices such as the Zoopraxiscope that laid the ground for the invention of the movie projector that followed. If the Zoopraxiscope was built out of a wheel using glass slides that converted individual static images into seamless movement, Simon reposesses old glass slides to turn seamless projected movements into fragmented images scattered and diffused into the space surrounding the viewer.
In this collaborative installation where Ostrovsky's films are screened onto Simon's Filmatrucs and Simon's films reflect on Ostrovsky’s projections the two artist-filmmakers share their fascination with experimental and historical cinema to create a spatial environment merging the cinematic with the visual art. Besides the historical cinematic references, film's plastic quality itself plays a material role in the show - its grainy texture alludes to the seashore’s sand and the film's unstable color changes (caused by the projector's lamp scorching the film causing its images' gradual fading) replicates the transition of the time of day portrayed in the various films.
In its playful and inventive nature Ocean Bazar is an ode to film - stretching and researching its material qualities, looking into parts of its history and proposing new interpretations for viewing and experiencing it.