Home > Summer research > Mixing up Media + Art = Experimenting time!

Mixing up Media + Art = Experimenting time!

Experimental Artwork (installations, performance or mixed media)

The second piece of research i have undertaken is looking at a couple of interactive exhibitions which use mixed media and are experimental from other art work. For this i went to the Tate Modern, London. I decided to look at 2 exhibitions as from looking on the Tate website, the exhibitions pieces looked like they related to the mixed media element of the research we have been set to undertake.


The first exhibition was Francis Alys’s ‘A Story of Deception’. This particular artist experiments with art in many forms through drawing, paintings, objects and video pieces. One particularly experimental piece includes a video recording of him re-enacting walking into a gun shop and then carrying a gun around the streets of Mexico City (which is a re-construction of a real event which he actually did the previous day) Alys stages then re-stages performances which give a political message about society and life in general in Mexico.

Amongst a few of his video pieces includes the quite random action of Alys pushing a big block of ice around the street which has the philosophical subtitle of ‘Sometimes doing something leads to nothing.’ Its these quite simple video pieces that made me think that not all experimental video pieces such as this have to complicated and that they can be more effective without having complicated aspects within them.

One of his more political pieces is called ‘The Green Line’ or as its official title ‘The Leak’, in which he made a hole in a can of paint and walked along the armistice border which was created in 1948 when the war between Jordan and Israel ended creating a green line which represented the seperation fence.  The video piece also has the caption of “Sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can be poetic”.  Through Alys’s radical movement he was putting a message across that was greeted with some negative and positive responses, and these reactions can be heard throughout the piece of Alys’s radical action.

I really like how Alys uses video to put across a message whether it’s political or about society and life in Mexico. There isn’t any complicated aspects to any of his videos and that makes them more powerful in getting the message across.  I feel that the theme of power is represented throughout Alys’s pieces whether its the message he is putting across or what he is actually doing within his video pieces, such as the artist pushing a big block of ice through the streets of Mexico.   

The second artist who uses mixed media in their work that i looked at for this part of my research was Alejandro Cesarco.  This artist looks particularly at the construction of narrative and this can be seen within his artwork using video as his main working medium.  The exhibition i went to at the Tate Modern is entitled ‘Present Memory’ and looks at his Father who is recently diagnosed with cancer at the time and a doctor.  This intimate look at his Father was filmed within his Doctors practice with a 16mm camera using close up and medium shots.  The footage was then projected onto the walls of his Father’s practice and then filmed again to give a ‘projection of a projection’ with which we are shown a constructed and anticipated memory of his Father.


When i went to see this exhibition i had previously read up on what it was about so i didn’t walk in there completely oblivious as to what it would be.  I was expecting the ‘projection of a projection’ to be a bit bigger instead of just being projected onto a small space on one of the walls. The video is made up of a series of 3 videos which are located across 3 levels of the gallery in the same position to give a sense of deja vu to the viewer.  I can’t really say that i had that sense when i went to each level to view the video piece.

 (Image courtesy of Pablo Leon De La Barra on Blogspot)

The artist is said to of created this piece of work as an attempt at dealing with his Father’s absence and the fear of mourning and remembering and most importantly letting go. (www.artfacts.net)

Overall i did find Cesarco’s piece interesting in the sense that he has based a piece on the theme of memory and used his Father as it’s subject.  Adding a personal touch to a theme is perhaps the route i shall consider and think about taking for the memory theme and also for the theme of power as inspiration from Francis Alys’s video pieces.

Categories: Summer research
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