Video-artist Kim Engelen
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Videostill Bonding on the Backseat

Other texts:
English:
The New Studio Visit – Alternative Feedback Session by Kim Engelen 2013>>
Cydney Payton 2012>>
Lori Wax, dOCUMENTA (13), 60 wrd/min art critic, 2012>>
René Fidel Lazcano 2011>>
ArtPark/Goan Han Lim 2010>>
Urban Video Lounge/Toine Horvers 2010>>
Stichting Picos/Noud Heerkens 2010>>
 
Dutch:
Pand Paulus 2009>>
Pieter A.J. Reintjes 2005>>
Elvira Eomerovic 2002>>
Arjan Reinders 1998>>

Video #2 Bonding on the Backseat

My commentary for Kim Engelenís Video #2 Bonding on the Backseat (from the Series: Words donít come easy), 4í40, 2011 centers on the restrictions and possibilities found within the videoís non-verbal spatial language. While the video establishes the universality of music as a device for emotional communication drawing the viewer in through cheery pop-beats, it offers a complex reading of the relationship between audio and visual signifiers. As the two protagonists playfully mirror gestural dance moves in the backseat of a small car, the Golden Gate Bridge looms in the rear window. By drawing attention to the two distinct frames of the video, one inside the car and the other outside, we engage with the videoís binary messages. Those binaries include cultural difference and assimilation, static signifiers and moving images, music and language, dance and gesture, and tourist and resident. Each of these holds significance to the videoís main topic of human communication and understanding. Of specific interest to me are the relationships between what is presented as universal and the flattening of global distinctions of place as brought forward in Dean MacCannellís The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class. Commentary would include excerpts from MacCannell that specifically relate to the way that we build expectations around experience into the touristic. The Bridge, a spatial device of arrival and departure, offers mixed symbols of failed communicationóso many people jump because they canít communicateóand hope. The backseat confines communication yet unifies its possibilities. The global tourist, as MacCannell notes, is always arriving and departing prefigured scenarios. Engelenís Dutch and Brazilian women reflect this state with ease. While the Bridge, as a site of this communication, suggests joy and vulnerability.

Cydney M. Payton

   

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