A Place to Read. In the early 1990s, Burgin turned to digital video art based on photographic material, using it to continue his examination of psychoanalytical methods and the meaning of memory and association in the observation of photographic images. Through his digital transformation of unmoving photographic images into moving video images, he adds narration, memory and associations as seen, he has noted, through a prism.
Over the past thirty years, Victor Burgin (born 1941 in Sheffield, England) has established himself internationally as a conceptual artist and theorist. As a member of the Art & Language group in the late 1960s, he elaborated critiques of existing theories of art. Beginning in 1969, he spent two years using language as his sole artistic material. Thereafter he explored the complex relationships between text and image. Burgin's work has emerged in a political context. He seeks to uncover hidden meanings and ideological motifs alongside personal associations within the everyday dissemination of images and texts. His works are held in important museum collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In addition to his work as an artist, Burgin has published extensive theoretical writings on photography and authored several standard works on semiotically oriented photography theory.
In the early 1990s, Burgin turned to digital video art based on photographic material, using it to continue his examination of psychoanalytical methods and the meaning of memory and association in the observation of photographic images. Through his digital transformation of unmoving photographic images into moving video images, he adds narration, memory and associations as seen, he has noted, through a prism.
In recent years, Burgin's photographic, textual and video works have been primarily reactions to cities and buildings that he has visited. The buildings have included Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion, Rudolph Schindler's Kings Road House in Los Angeles, and the Tempelhof airport building in Berlin.
"Bir okuma yeri / A Place to Read" (digital text-image projection, color, silent, loop duration 4'05") came about in the past year, during which Burgin was a resident artist of the "Lives and Works in Istanbul" program on the occasion of Istanbul's year as the "European Capital of Culture" in 2010. The point of departure for the work is the Taṣlik Kahve, a coffee house built by Sedad Hakki Eldem in the middle of the last century as a synthesis of Ottoman style and twentieth-century Modernism. In the late 1980s, the building (and its surrounding park) had to yield to a modern hotel. The building was torn down in part and in part rebuilt as a tourist restaurant. Burgin sees the building as an allegory of modern Turkey: Constructed as a coffee house open to the public and rooted in its own tradition, it was swept away by a Western-oriented globalism. Burgin has decided on an unusual form of photographic representation, setting aside the physical camera in favor of a virtual one. He assembles photographic material to create a 3-D model of the building which he can move through with a virtual camera. On the work's second level, presented by Burgin as a line of text running along the wall of the second gallery space, fiction and reality are again intertwined in the narration. Burgin carries out his image and text work as an "excavation" of the building and its manifold real and fictive contents. Logically, it premiered at the Istanbul Archeological Museum.
For digital image material and additional information, please contact:
Campagne Première, Kristina Bewersdorff phone: ++49.30.40054300 mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Bir okuma yeri / A Place to Read, 2010. Digital text-image projection, color, silent, loop duration 4'05". © Victor Burgin; Campagne Première Berlin.
Opening: Thursday, 28 April 2011, 6–9pm (the artist will be present)
Artist talk: Friday, 27 May 2011, 7pm
Campagne Première Berlin
Chausseestrasse 116 D-10115 Berlin Germany
Hours: Tue - Sat 11am-6pm