Traditionnally, an international competition of recent video tapes is organized during the Biennial. This year, the selection committee has received 727 works from all over the world (43 countries): Europe: 512 (Switzerland: 98, Eastern Europe: 17) ; North America: 156 ; South America: 19 ; Middle East: 9 ; Asia: 9 ; Australia: 14 ; Africa: 3.
36 works were selected by the selection committee (André Iten, director of the Biennial, Jérôme Leuba and Patricia Nydegger, artists from Geneva). The selection features the best of contemporary video works.
The international jury is composed of:
Dunja Blasevic (Bosnia), director of Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, Sarajevo
Chris Dercon (B), Boymans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam
Corinne Diserens (F), art historian, director of the Marseille Museums and independant curator
Elizabeth Janus (CH), art historian and art critic (Artforum, Frieze, Partkett; currently working on a book about Tony Oursler)
Michel Ritter (CH), director of Fri-Art, Centre d'art contemporain, Fribourg
The jury will award prizes for a total amount of CHF 20,000.-:
- Grand Prix de la Ville de Genève: CHF 10,000.-
- Prix Jeune Créateur du Département de l'Instruction Publique de l'Etat de Genève:
- Two Prix Saint-Gervais Genève of CHF 2,500.- each.
The awarded works will be kept in the Médiathèque of the Centre for Contemporary Images, which is, with its more than 1,000 titles, one of Europe's largest video art collection.
The Biennial will also screen a program of video tapes by Cheryl Donegan (USA), winner of the 7th Biennial Grand Prix (1997), as well as several programs of tapes by students from art schools of Switzerland and Europe, offering thus an opportunity for young artists and the public to meet.
The following works have been selected:
AMMANN Hanspeter (CH), Couple, Suisse / Etats-Unis, 1998, 11'
A woman and a man are participating in some meeting. Zooming into time through an extreme slowing down of the action, Couple doesn't leave the spectator any other choice but to fall into catharsis. - Projection and interpretation in loop.
ANTILLE Emmanuelle (CH),Wouldn't it be nice, Suisse, 1999, 14'
A rough aesthetic and an editing cut into the living flesh allow this document to elaborate a sensitive performance within the context of a family meeting in order to explore women's links and rituals in this family. - Tradition and borderline.
ATHERTON Kevin (GB), Gallery Guide, Angleterre, 1998, 20'
A virtual verbal tour of an exhibition, leaded by a guide's voice giving us detailed explanations about art works just as virtual. - Twist of the real and irony.
AUGUSTIJNEN Sven (B), Iets op Bach, Belgique, 1998, 37'
Dancers are having a party which is slowly getting out of control following eruptions of violent and sexual actions. The voyeurist camera is filming the event from the other side of the street. A performance of C. de la B. company shifting between reality and fiction.
AZOULAY Ariella (Israël), A Sign from Heaven, Israël, 1999, 55'
Through three cases: murder without premeditation, assassination and liquidation, this documentary attempts to bring out the different ways to produce and represent violence in Israeli society and, more particularly, how it is produced in front of the camera, whether it is a televisual, a photojournalistic or an amateur one.
BAYRLE Thomas (D), Andreas, Allemagne, 1999, 6'
A prisoner trapped in a railway station in Mexico City tries to escape the rush hour...
BIEMANN Ursula (CH), Performing the Border, Suisse, 1999, 42'
Set in a Mexican-US border town where the US industries assemble their electronic and digital equipment, the video gives an insight into the gendered conditions inscribed into the border region through discussions on labor division, prostitution, expression of female desires in the entertainment industry and on sexual violence in the public sphere.
DECOVIC Ivo (D), Ivan has no need of TV, Allemagne, 1998, 10'
Following through the night a 70 year-old blind farmer of the village Zecevo in Croatia, the video tries to show an inverted world.
DOUKHAN Delphine (F), Red Inside, Pays-Bas, 1998, 8'
One night, somewhere in the Netherlands in a karaoke bar, the camera casts its objective, beyond the documentary dimension, into the network of psychologies of the protagonists.
DUWE Alexandra, WÜST Holger (D), Wind up the Business Day, Allemagne, 1998, 3'10
Samples of images and sounds taken out of news and TV magazines' credits are put together without comment. Their assemblage reveals with irony the nature of the world's mediatic image as it is taken for a background to business life representation in the contemporary metropolis.
FERNANDEZ Nicolas (D), Sein und Zeit, Allemagne, 1999, 5'40
In video-amateur style, the transposition of effects ordinary used in so-called "fantastic" films sheds a different light on a daily life haunted by calls, apparitions, disparitions, fantasies and time wholes. Ambiguity of the real and of the perception of the real.
FLEISCH Thorsten (D), K.I.L.L. - Kinectic Image Laboratory Lobotomy, Allemagne, 1998, 3'30
180 different perspectives of a bank's skyscraper in Frankfurt constitutes the rough material of an editing which shifts from chaos to organised system. An ironic documentary playing with the subliminal message, representation of the urban sign and power of sound on the unconscioust.
GRZINIC Marina & SMID Aina (Slovénie), On the Flies of the Market Place, Slovénie, 1999, 7'
Dealing with the idea of the european space as being divided and sacrificed, the surrealistic world constructed through edited associations raises questions coming out of the rereading of images deeply linked to eastern and western europe - reflexion about political, cultural and epistemological failures of this century of which eastern europe represents the symptom.
HALFLIFERS (USA), I.S.L.A.N.D.S. #2 : Operation Big Yellow, Etats-Unis, 1998, 10'15
The Halflifers propel us into a color-saturated action-scenario burdened with psychic and material residue. Burlesque slapstick parodies the trendy aesthetic of science and of the extreme.
HALLIFRITSCH Rainer, HEMBERGER Ulrike, HOFFMANN Karl (D), Die 3. Generation des Wohlfühlens, Allemagne, 1999, 12'
In 1994, Daimler-Benz Ltd. began erecting its portion of the city on the Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. But whose property is it really? The conflicts of the beginning of the nineties seem to have fallen into oblivion. Today, "Daimler-City" is a fact. The film follows without comment the builders and the politicians through their own mediatic representation.
HANSSON Gustavo A. (CH), Between Time, Suisse, 1999, 3'30
A performance on Sheikh Zayed Road. - Juxtaposition of images, confrontations.
HAWLEY Steve (GB), Ghost, Angleterre, 1998, 5'14
Gweilo (ghost man) is cantonese slang for "white" man - but also the ghost of colonialism. Set in Hong-Kong this video is concerned with image and language and the mutation of meaning.
HUBER Laurence (CH), Hell, Suisse, 1998, 24'
A study of gesture, gesture of attention or destruction, pursuing the living constantly, as if everything that lives could become rough material for manipulation... - Essay about the scientific intervention.
KEMPENAERS Jan (B), Antwerpen - Berchem, Belgique, 1998, 12'
Marginal locations where urban and rural life bleed into each other without transition are shown through 225 video-stills. The series slowly reveals the condition of the belgian semi urban sprawl that can - without comment - speak to the post-industrial state of the art.
KOBLAND Ken (USA), Arise! Walk Dog Eat Donut, Etats-Unis, 1999
Types of landscape studies of western urban areas accompanied by a Russian ballad from "Soviet Hits of the Stalinist Era". But each time the song is played its text is different. Raising the question of authenticity, this video works out a form of connecting images and ideas across time and space.
LUCAS Rémi (F), The Wild Wild West, France, 1998, 10'40
Gary Cooper makes a u-turn while somebody is challenged to a duel in the grand street. But why does this foreigner remain mute? Five chapters during which one some famous scenes of the american western are misappropriated.
MEADOWS Fiona, NANTOIS Frédéric (F), La maison du divorce, France, 1999, 30'
This video triptych, paradigm of a paradoxical situation caracterising comtemporary society, explores the complex relationships made out of chaos, fragmentation and rupture but that also offer exchange between mass culture, globalisation, individual perception and daily environments. The links between architecture, cinema, mythologies, mediatic and domestic images therefore come out of antagonisms and convergences.
MOYSE Michel (USA), The Runner, Etats-Unis, 1998, 59'
While traditional television drama is usually built through a linear series of single shots, the runner uses all of these simultaneously, creating a vaste video canvas of action from several perspectives. Through multiplications of points of view and fragmented space-time relationships Moyse explores the role of violence in contemporary american society.
NÄSÄNEN Elena (Finlande), Before Rain, Finlande, 1998, 11'06
Serial sequences - disparate and truncated in appearence - ultimately deconstruct a story that develops similarities with the found footage narrations of the very beginning (thirties). Many-faceted black and white mirror reflecting a fictional approach.
RA'AD Walid (USA), The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs, Etats-Unis, 1999, 16'54
Exploring the possibilites and the limits of writing a history of the Lebanese war, this video-triptych exhibits some particular situations through found documents (found footage). These "exhibits" mutate slowly into equivocal agents in order to become objects of investigation with respect to their own nature.
SCHOUTEN Lydia (NL), Leerdam, Pays-Bas, 1998, 18'50
In a continual move and sliding without transitions from one scene to another, the camera probes the blurred in-betweens of moments of contemporary daily life and the aesthetic that results through their fictionalisation. - Panorama of interiors and exteriors, of actions and states.
SCHUNKE Thomas (CH), Resizing War, Suisse, 1999, 12'
Audiovisual analyses of the new war images, such as the Kosovo war. The digitally resized images coming from televisual material transmitted by satellite and meant for news editing attempt to demonstrate the actual reason for war - power - and to dissect the gestures and mises en scène linked to it.
SOLA Joe (USA), Pullouts, Etats-Unis, 1999, 1'45
The hotel- and motel-specific art work suspended above the beds is shown through a serial study using repeated camera pullout in order to suggest a scene which never unfolds.
SUERMONDT Robert (B), Murphy's law, Belgique, 1998, 13'20
The artist has been filming in super 8 all his journeys throughout the world for nearly ten years. Murphy's law gathers some chosen sequences of these travels and includes various free associations.
TAANILA Mika (Finlande), Futuro, Finlande, 1998, 29'
Futuro is an architectural module of leisure housing, light and cheap, conceived by a finnish architect in the 60s... Through archives and interviews, this documentary film tries to explain the mystery of its disappearance.
THOREN Anders (Suède), Sugar Daddy, Suède, 1998, 3'
The concept of communication and meaning explored through a fictitious dialogue of found footage. Father and daughter on the phone.
TORRES Gerard (F), Le train fantôme, France, 1998, 12'
An invitation to tour a dimension which deals more with sound than with image, reminding one that image is in essence... ghostly. - Transcription of an experiment that, by constructing sound images becomes an experience.
TYKKÄ Salla (Finlande), Power, Finlande, 1998, 4'46
"I wanted to make a video about my mother, but all I could think of was my father". - Oedipal complex vs. settling of scores: a girls' fight.
VERBEKE Thierry (F), 7.28 PM, France, 1998, 2'20
An indistinct scenery of a group of people shifting about in a wasteland...
Image coming from an amateur camera ?
This video questions the televisual habits of the spectator.
WIESENTHAL Anke (D), Meeting places, Australie / Allemagne, 1999, 30'
This document without any commentary shows a radio station's opening which will allow a community of arborigines of north Australia to communicate with the outside world.
ZANNI Margot, BISCHOFF Stefan (CH), LIDO 21, Suisse, 1998, 17'
Architectonic view on the Lido Luzern, a public bath build in 1928. This video' non-linear and graphic images invites the spectator to meditate on the Bauhaus lines of this deserted place, just before its destruction in April 1998.
- Compétition 1 program
VERBEKE Thierry, 7.28 PM, 1998, 2 min., France
AUGUSTIJNEN Sven, Iets op Bach, 1998, 37 min., Belgique
DECOVIC Ivo, Ivan has no need of TV, 1998, 10 min., Allemagne
DOUKHAN Delphine, Red Inside, 1998, 8 min., Pays Bas
WIESENTHAL Anke, Meeting places, 1999, 30 min., Australie / Allemagne
- Compétition 2
KEMPENAERS Jan, Antwerpen - Berchem, 1998, 12 min., Belgique
ATHERTON Kevin, Gallery Guide, 1998, 20 min., Angleterre
HALFLIFERS, I.S.L.A.N.D.S. #2 : Operation Big Yellow, 1998, 10 min., U.S.A.
BAYRLE Thomas, Andreas, 1999, 6 min., Allemagne
HUBER Laurence, Hell, 1998, 24 min., Suisse
Margot Zanni & Stefan Bischoff, Lido 21, 1998, 17 min., Suisse
- Compétition 3
HAWLEY Steve, Ghost, 1998, 5 min., Angleterre
RA'AD Walid, The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs, 1999, 17 min., U.S.A.
GRZINIC Marina & SMID Aina, On the flies of the market place, 1999, 7 min., Slovénie
AZOULAY Ariella, A sign from heaven, 1999, 55 min., Israel
- Compétition 4
MOYSE Michel, The Runner, 1998, 59', USA
TAANILA Mika, Futuro, 1998, 29 min., Finlande
FLEISCH Thorsten, K.I.L.L. - Kinectic Image Laboratory Lobotomy, 1998, 4 min., Allemagne
- Compétition 5
NÄSÄNEN Elena, Before Rain, 1998, 11 min., Finlande
FERNANDEZ Nicolas, Sein Zeit, 1999, 6 min., Allemagne
TORRES Gerard, Le train fantôme, 1998, 12 min., France
SCHOUTEN Lydia, Leerdam, 1998, 19 min., Nederland
KOBLAND Ken, Arise! Walk Dog Eat Donut, 1999, U.S.A.
- Compétition 6
ANTILLE Emmanuelle, Wouldn't it be nice, 1999, 14 min., Suisse
SUERMONDT Robert, Murphy's law, 1998, 13 min., Belgique
AMMANN Hanspeter, Couple, 1998, 11 min., Suisse / USA
TYKKÄ Salla, Power, 1998, 5 min., Finlande
LUCAS Rémi, The Wild Wild Wild West, 1998, 11 min., France
MEADOWS Fiona & NANTOIS Frédéric, La maison du divorce, 1999, 30', France
THOREN Anders, Sugar Dad, 1998, 3 min., Suède
- Compétition 7
DUWE Alexandra & WÜST Holger, Wind Up the Business Day, 1998, 3 min., Allemagne
SCHUNKE Thomas, Resizing War, 1999, 12 min., Suisse
HANSSON Gustavo A., Between Time, 1999, 4 min., Suisse
SOLA Joe, Pullouts, 1999, 2 min., U.S.A.
Rainer Hallifritsch, Ulrike Hemberger, Karl Hoffman, Die 3. Generation des Wohlfühlens, 1999, 12 min., Allemagne
BIEMANN Ursula, Performing the border, 1999, 42 min., Suisse