I am suspicious of video art…
Usually I either do not understand it, or it is boring or I just do not feel like watching for what feels like a lifetime to ‘get’ it. And yet, I have been lured into making my own video art. At least I hope that my video art is short and easy to understand. And if you do not understand it, at least it will have been so short, that you hopefully will not feel like you have wasted half your day on it.
And so, today I would like to introduce to you one of the works of my last exhibition, Walking in Circles. The work is conceptualised to be running continuously without any stops. So much for me disliking long videos… 😉 Don’t worry, in reality it is only an 18 second clip, looped and presented to you here in a bite-size piece of 3 minutes (or shorter if you press the stop button 😉 ). After you have watched the video, please feel free to read on, as I share my thoughts behind the work below.
A Meditation On Life and Change
This is a meditative work, where seemingly nothing changes, no matter how long you keep watching. When watching a video, we somehow expect that something new will happen, that there is a story to be told, a new action introduced or at least a beginning and an end. This video is moving along, but nothing changes. I could have been walking for 10 minutes or 24 hours, but you will not know. And there is no end, unless you leave the room or press the Stop button.
This could have a calming effect. Just like the cycles of nature, or day and night following each other without fail. So if you have a lot of turbulence in your life, this video could bring calm to it. It provides repetitive, calming stability and presence. Step for step, circle for circle you can let yourself be drawn into the moment and know that the important things will always remain constant. The cycles of nature will turn. The sun will rise again. You can rest, slow down and trust the process.
This could also have a very different effect on you. You might feel stuck in a rut. You might yearn for a change. But the video does not provide that, no matter how long you stare and wait. In this case, watching the video could be a meditation, leading you to the understanding, that if you want something to change, YOU need to change. Unless the person walking in the circles actually makes the conscious decision to step out of that ring into the next, everything will stay the same.
Are you willing to step outside of the circle? And change the course of history?
About the work: ‘Walking in Circles’ by Imke Rust 18 seconds, looped indefinitely, projected against a wall. or on a vertically placed screen. Performance / HD Video piece Concept & Performance: Imke Rust © Video: Steffen Holzkamp April 2012 Location: grounds of the Salt Company (PTY) Ltd, Namib Desert.