DUAL CORPUS

DUAL CORPUS

Isabelle Wenzel

solo exhibition

12.05.2022 03.07.2022

What does it mean to be human? How does my body relate to machines and how does my body relate to nature? These are questions that photographer, video artist and performer Isabelle Wenzel (1982, DE) explores in her new video work Automatia. In a series of scenes, we see an androgynous protagonist (the artist) making abstract movements. She is not alone: her partner is a drone. It follows her every move, swaying back and forth, bobbing up and down. They are two bodies, at times connected, at times detached from each other, moving in desolate landscapes somewhere in the world. These landscapes symbolise the loneliness of the protagonist: a barren dry plain, a field in winter where the stumps of the harvested crop protrude from the black ground – yellow and barren, a studio with a green screen, a deserted car park outside a hardware store.

In these no man’s lands, the protagonist exposes themself to the natural elements of earth, water, air and fire, always accompanied by a technical device. Isabelle’s visual research addresses the question of what it means to experience life and nature with the influence of technology, and whether nature is something we have already lost, or if it is something we can still save.

Before beginning her process, Isabelle had envisaged creating a narrative film, but throughout the process each scene seemed to resemble something she had already seen, degenerating into an empty cliché. That is why she chose to edit the film in fragments. We see loops, repetitions and glitches, where the protagonist makes intuitive movements in an endless spiral of representation and recreation. Inside her own bubble, she surrenders to the reproduction. A human in its own egocentric disco, always followed by technology – an eye, as it were – holding up a mirror to us. In Automatia, Isabelle makes us believe that we only love ourselves as long as we have access to technology. But we will never truly love technology itself, with which we share a relationship similar to that of Echo in love with Narcissus. 

Automatia is presented as a diptych in the gallery. On two screens arranged in a corner, the images move asynchronously alongside each other. In doing so, Isabelle appears to be performing a pas de deux, or rather a pas de quatre. During Amsterdam Art, a third element will be added. Isabelle will be giving a live performance, creating a performative sculpture in the space that enters into a dialogue with the projections. She will mimic the movements seen on the screen, bringing together past, present and future.

The film Automatia was made in cooperation with drone pilot Michel Wenzel. Costume design by Cabinet Milano, Marta Martino and Via Piave 33. Supported by Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn, DE.

• More information about Isabelle Wenzel

• DUAL CORPUS is on view together with Transit by Henk Wildschut and Sentient Shapes by Britte Koolen.

Events

12.05.2022 / 17:00 – 21:00: Opening.

Join us for the festive opening night during Amsterdam Art Week.

14.05.2022 / 12:00 – 18:00: Special Event: Automatia – performance by Isabelle Wenzel.

What does it mean to be human? How does my body relate to machines and how does my body relate to nature? These are questions that photographer, video artist and performer Isabelle Wenzel (1982, DE) explores in her new video work Automatia. In a series of scenes, we see an androgynous protagonist (the artist) making abstract movements. She is not alone: her partner is a drone. It follows her every move, swaying back and forth, bobbing up and down. They are two bodies, at times connected, at times detached from each other, moving in desolate landscapes somewhere in the world. These landscapes symbolise the loneliness of the protagonist: a barren dry plain, a field in winter where the stumps of the harvested crop protrude from the black ground – yellow and barren, a studio with a green screen, a deserted car park outside a hardware store.

Automatia is presented as a diptych in the gallery. On two screens arranged in a corner, the images move asynchronously alongside each other. In doing so, Isabelle appears to be performing a pas de deux, or rather a pas de quatre. During Amsterdam Art, a third element will be added. Isabelle will be giving a live performance, creating a performative sculpture in the space that enters into a dialogue with the projections. She will mimic the movements seen on the screen, bringing together past, present and future.

 

 

DUAL CORPUS