Twelve screens, twelve themes: Royalty, the Church, presidency, industry, war, philosophers, the desire to be seen, society’s outcasts… The themes are evoked using iconic scenes from the past such as May ‘68, Eichmann’s trial, September 11, Hiroshima, Woodstock, Miss Europe. These scenes do not shock, they are part of the contemporary spectator’s imagery. Michel Platnic appropriates these depersonalized images known to all and reinterprets them as ready-mades, raw material to be revitalized. Prompted by an aesthetic experience, the spectator first perceives the work as a whole before progressively entering its space and discovering each video independently. A colour, derived from each video’s dominant tones, is associated with each scene, thus binding the videos through their intrinsically aesthetic common identity.
Even before seeing the work, the spectator is guided by its title, a reference to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Bach’s music drives the work, is heard and is seen, bringing out and propelling the different scenes. To each video a musical note is assigned, which thus in turn becomes manifest. “Bach” means Enlightenment, that unbridled search for knowledge that activates the videos’ protagonists, that drives them towards one direction, towards their isolation into categories to be studied. Towards standardisation. The Well-Tempered Clavier actually proclaims the advent of a new norm, that of the piano whose balanced sonority will replace the sonic specificity inherent in earlier interpretative possibilities of piano music.
Video Documentation of the Installation "Well Tempered" - 2015
Twelve 32inch framed screens
the twelve secreens include a total of 40 videos with duration between 5sec and 5min55sec
My Family Portrait - 2015
In this video, the presence of the artist himself emanates from the tide of forty photographs in a video entitled My Family Portrait. The photos show the army, the police, political interferences, population displacement, slavery, power, the elimination of local particularity. Indicating that there still might be something to be done, the artist is disguised and alienated, replaying History by writing history. A riot policeman barring the path of refugees, Eichmann at his trial, a guard overlooking slaves… Platnic shape-shifts into others. But the artist, through his integration into the work, shares his concern of being himself part of the system, of having lost his ability to judge as well as the tools needed to grasp the whole. Each scene is in fact treated identically, with no distinction: There is no attempt at discernment. Platnic addresses perhaps the spectator who, as he physically leaves the video installation Well-Tempered, is invited to step out of the system and become, in turn, burdened with action and responsibility.
Video work "My Family Portrait" - 2015, shown with "Well Tempered" work in Galleria Continua exhibition - 2015
Single channel video, 4K, Duration 3min21sec