KOCHI:‘Dream Stop’, a video installation by American artist Gary Hill at Durbar Hall, one of the venues of the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 offers visitors a way to view themselves in multiple dimensions.
Hill, considered as a pioneer of multimedia art utilises 31 spycams, concealed in a large circular aluminium frame suspended from the ceiling, to splinter gallery visitors into 31 overlapping images of themselves.
So a visitor can see various angles ranging from multiple strolling images including those projected upside down, right-side up, magnified, miniaturised, melting together and sliding apart - everything but the straight forward shot.
“I am excited in juxtaposing aesthetics with conceptual art in the video installation. The title is a play on words. This can be interpreted as a station to begin a dream. It can also suggest the end of a dream, the stopping point,” says Hill.
‘Dream Stop’ transforms the entire room into an alternate reality of holographic projections.
“This can be interpreted as a comment on the surveillance society we inhabit - be it the self-surveillance that drives social media or the security-camera network that tracks us in an ever-growing number of public venues,” adds the artist.
Hill, who lives and works in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most accomplished artists of his generation and is regarded as a major contributor to new media art from the 1970s and continuing into the present.
Viewed as one of the foundational artists in video art, based on the single-channel work and video and sound-based installations of the 1970s and 1980s, he began working in metal sculpture in the late 1960s.
His early forays into the interconnections between language and electronic imaging and the discovery of a principle of “electronic linguistics” opened new territory in art, with implications for language art, consciousness, thinking, and extended possibilities in electronic composition.
The recipient of many awards, his influential work has been exhibited in most major contemporary art museums worldwide. With experimental rigour, conceptual precision, and imaginative leaps of discovery, Hill’s work in video is about, and itself comprises, a new form of writing.
‘Aloidia Piorm’ is another installation by Hill in which more than a dozen of glass shapes are on exhibit. He repurposes the discarded fragments of glass sculptures by other artists in his work.
Just as Hill’s assembled glass objects invites one to project meanings onto them (is that a fish, a flask, a broken seashell?), so too do his words, which suggest a tantalising array of possibilities.
While “Aloidia Piorm” is the high point of the show, it is supplemented with installations titled ‘Sine Wave (The curve of the world)’ and ‘Klein Bottle with Image of Its Own Making’.
Sine wave is audio-video installation in which one hears the heavy breath of someone as a sound track in a forest glade steadily moving back and forth a half-full glass of water perched at the end of a level plank.
Klein Bottle sculpture is a curved glass trumpet that intersects with itself. Video imagery of the trumpet’s firing emerges from its base and, due to the reflective properties of the glass, spreads all up and through its form.