5-channel video installation, 2002, 10 min. 51 sec., 4:3, Loop
Deconstruction of Space
by IRIS DRESSLER
In a number of her video works, Aurelia Mihai investigates the relationship between the filmic organisation of space and viewing perspective.
In “PlattForm” (Platform), for example, she opens up a trap-door to a space, which provides a total overview of the situation.
It is this total view, that is, the opportunity of observing a course of action from different perspectives,
that overtaxes our habitual way of seeing things, and our three-dimensional imagination.
The background to the video projection are studio shots of a film team making preparations for shooting: measurements are taken, equipment adjusted,
the location cleaned up, and the procedure discussed. The various tasks were filmed in parallel by five different cameras:
one on each of the four walls and the fifth in the middle of the ceiling giving pictures from a bird’s eye view perspective.
The split-screen video shows these images arranged in the form of a cross. Analogous to the spatial situation, the shots taken by the ceiling camera are placed at the centre. Arranged around this are the views taken from the sides of the room. If one were to take the flat projection and bend it into a cube, one would see the exact three-dimensional mirroring of the room in which the action takes place. However, in the video projection the room remains flat and divided up into compartments which makes it impossible for the observer to grasp what is going on as a unity. The centre picture is constant to a certain extent, but the film sequences shown on the right and left and above and below are always at odds with each other: When people disappear into the background in the lower picture, on the upper one they are moving towards the observer; When someone moves to the right in one picture, in the picture opposite they move to the left. The video images at the top show people standing on the floor, whereas at the bottom they are hanging from the ceiling. This highly irritating deconstruction of a rather unspectacular scenario, is turned by a further 180° in the action proper, which follows the team’s preparations: we see a woman, who is standing on her head. Multiple views of a single event or action is a classic stylistic device used in cinema to individualise viewing perspectives. In the video installation “PlattForm”, however, this multi-view is divorced from the linear structure of a film. It no longer allows itself to be embedded in the illusion of a time-space continuum.