The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with the University of Latvia presents the exhibition "TURN!" by Anna Hoetjes (NL). The exhibition is on view from 20 November to 15 December 2013 at the central building of the University of Latvia (the address: Raina boulevard 19, Riga).
The exhibition features the video installation "TURN!" and also research materials including the interview with Roxana Schwartz "Es war hart / Es müsste es wieder geben."
Anna Hoetjes explores collectivity in her work and asks if it is achievable through synchronized body movement in today’s Western European society. The author is interested what power structures are present in a contemporary display of synchronized body movement. With state-socialist and communist traditions in the background and individualism as the current norm, this collective is not an unambiguous body. How could the collective be explored as a spectacular image for commercial or propagandistic purposes?
During the performance TURN!, one hundred and fifty people performed mass choreography in a stadium in Leipzig, Germany. The stadium was the most important arena of propagandistic mass gymnastics in the German Democratic Republic. However, now it known as the highly commercial 'Red Bull Arena'. No audience was present at the performance. Nevertheless, the event was documented by means of various cameras. Small cameras were brought by participants themselves, while professional cameras were operated by a filming team led by Daniel G. Schwarz. The choreography was produced in collaboration with Leipziger choreographer Heike Hennig.
The video installation based on documentation of the performance consists of two projections. One represents a spectacular bird perspective of the performance's choreography. The movements refer not only to mass parades and propaganda typical of totalitarian regimes, but also to contemporary images of advertising, popular culture and sports. The sound of marching soldiers that accompanies images clashes with colourful appearance of participants and actual imperfection of synchronized movements. The images are cut off by low resolution shots filmed by individuals from inside the mass.
The other projection shows the same performance from a participant's eye-level. In this projection, the performance appears to be a rehearsal rather than a show; the spectacle never becomes complete. The physical contact of participants is sometimes awkward, sometimes intimate and relaxed. The performers are constantly filming themselves since an option to share images online stimulates collective narcissism. Authority, group dynamics, individuality and spectacle are performed on different levels of complexity and ambiguity in this contemporary mass event.
The show is on view on workdays between 9 am and 6 pm from 20 November to 15 December at the University of Latvia (Raina boulevard 19, Riga).
For more information please see www.annahoetjes.com