Carlier | Gebauer

Marcellvs L.

20 Mar - 24 Apr 2010

© Marcellvs L.
O, 2010
HDV transferred to hard disk, synchronized five-channel video installation, four-channel sound system
42.29 min.

20.03.2010 - 24.04.2010
Opening: Friday, February 19, 2010, 6 - 9 pm

carlier | gebauer is happy to announce Marcellvs L.’s second major exhibition with the gallery. In “Infinitesimal” the Brazilian-born and Berlin-based video and sound artist presents two new works, one of which has been produced specifically for this exhibition. His show at carlier | gebauer will be accompanied by a programme of a video screening, as well as by a lecture by philosopher Marcus Steinweg (March 20, 3 pm).

Marcellvs L.’s video and sound works create static environments. They are peaceful yet expand discords; these are worlds of immanence in which classical beauty is offered in a contemporary image world of expanded singularities. In their extremely precise recordings of minute moments, his installations are characterised by an implicit far-reaching impact on recipients’ senses. Narrated meaning is materially absent but returns in the guise of a filter between image and sound, as the impact of the videos is not so much generated by speed, movement or variation, but rather by a calculated and poignant stagnation. In his exhibitions the artist stages improbable, ambient gazes, conveyed through steady and concentrated sounds. Marcellvs L. produces videos that seem to focus on a momentum in which the medium ceases, comes to a standstill, and so seems to return the gaze of another genre, that of painting, whilst at the same time refusing the latter’s contemplation. The beautiful imagery, shifting ambiguously between figuration and abstraction, never allows viewers to simply rest with their associations. The images’ movements are too slow, too imperceptible, too minimal, too amorphous to allow us to identify with the camera’s gaze. Marcellvs L.’s compositions of audio and video compel viewers to adjust to the work, creating an anamorphous gaze in their recipients. Marcellvs L. records structures, entities and individuals ̧ reconfiguring as they expand and slotted into an interwoven visuality, from which narration arises anew.

Marcellvs L.’s 2010 exhibition at carlier | gebauer is entitled “Infinitesimal”. The title refers to numbers that are smaller than the smallest real number yet greater than 0, and thus signifies an order that undermines the binary opposition of nothingness and being. Again a narration is sought in the margins.

“O”, Marcellvs L.’s latest work, pushes his artistic sense of expansion to extremes. Staged as a folded projection structure of a sequence of five screens, each roughly the same height as the average viewer, the piece fills the gallery space with a solitary, sculptural body. Eight groups of videos are displayed on this structure, sometimes with one single image being screened, sometimes up to five at a time. Each group has its own specific running-time and is followed by a discrete moment when a pause is introduced, with the image turning black. The rhythm does not map a musical score, it signifies no visual trait, but instead enacts the abstract rules of serial music, in which no number can return until all the others have been used. Here again Marcellvs L.’s work enforces a strict order. No cuts in the editing guide the viewer’s eye. “O” consists of one straight shot after another, visually documenting areas of Reykjavik between one and six in the morning at a time of year when night never falls. This absence of darkness, indicated only indirectly by the totally deserted scenery, produces a tension and striking visual clearness, sustained over the work’s full 42 minutes and 19 seconds.
Presence and absence no longer seem to be complements of one another, but rather to serve as indications of one another. The film follows their confrontation in structure, image and sound, exploring sceneries of dreadfully functional and painfully unsightly housing, framed by concrete streets, roundabouts and traffic lights, all underpinned by a steady and insistent sound, varying only slightly in its intensity. “O” confronts its viewers with a contemplative imagery which cannot be contemplated.

“2222”, is one of Marcellvs L.’s latest additions to his “Rhizomes” series. “VideoRhizome” is an ongoing series of pieces, which Marcellvs L. started in 2002 and in the course of which 27 works have been produced so far. It experiments with a trope, taken from the seminal work “Mille Plateaux” by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, to create an open and constantly evolving device for the production and distribution of videos. The title of each of the individual works consists of 4-digit numbers determined by throwing two dice. These titles are re-enforced in the distribution of the videos, which are send out to the addresses in the local phonebook that match the digits and thus randomly construct an invented community, a self-expanding structure. The works in the “Rhizomes” series do not have a script, and are mostly edited during shooting, seeking relations among circumstances captured in their visual and auditive eventuality. The contingency of the way in which the videos are sent out is fundamental but an even more important aspect for the production of the videos is the contingency of how the scenes are captured. “2222” has clear links to “O”, as it was shot in Iceland too and continues to explore viewers’ disorientation when confronted with deserted forms of civilization. The lava underlying Mývatn in “2222” rises into visibility, forming a landscape where, once again, life seems hardly imaginable. A horse stands, scarcely moving, in the midst of the snow covering the rocks. Again, the gaze of the viewer is expanded through the videos exploration of the improbable landscape. Focussing on this immobile animal, the viewer is less and less able to distinguish the horse from the background and is more and more drawn into the ambience of the image. As in “O”, a narration emerges with a clear focus on the specificities of the particular place and time, moving beyond this not through universalisation but instead by augmenting the narration’s momentum.

Marcellvs L. was born in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) in 1980. He lives and works in Berlin, where he was awarded the GASAG Kunstpreis in 2008 and won an Akademie der Künste scholarship in 2009. His works are currently showing in a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien, entitled “VideoRhizomes”, and at Berlinische Galerie, Berlin’s Akademie der Künste.

Tags: Marcellvs L., Marcus Steinweg