code flow - events

Digitaler Dachstock #2

luncheon on the grass - postproduction by code flow

a project by code flow (Dimitrina & Alain)

curated by Martina Weber

17 August - 17 November 2006

at the Digitaler Dachstock of Haus für Kunst Uri

(the museum will be closed from 25 September to 20 October)

Curatorial Statement

whitmanIn their new video works the artists’ collective code flow is looking for existing original images which they transfer to a new context with cultural historical and socio-historical background. In this they act as performers, texters and theoreticians in order to redefine self-contained image signs with new media. Their newly produced video work luncheon on the grass – postproduction by code flow (2006) starts with filmed leaves of grass softly moving in the wind, on which a appear verses from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855-1892). Shortly thereafter a video appears, a re-enacted picture of Edouard Manet’s work Luncheon on the Grass (1862/63) with a woman dressed as a man and a man having a picnic out in the green, in front a young naked man is sitting in a model-like pose. This remake of a work therefore does not completely correspond with reality, since the roles were exchanged. This postproduction continuously plays with quotes and references, and quotes of quotes of conventions, on the textual, image and musical level and thus combines separate image fragments to a condensed reinterpretation of the already existing. With their collection of image content, changed by them, as in the case of the performance of Luncheon in the Grass, they generate targeted questions on the gender discussion and its representation in contemporary art.

In their second video altdorf sightseeing tour – your guide: code flow (2006) they reflect their position as tourists (tourist guides) visiting Altdorf and play with the notion of artists going out into nature to find new creativity for the works. A gesture that was popular at the end of 19th century, and remains popular in the compulsory photography of banal views typical of contemporary tourists. A sequence from the film Beyond the Clouds by Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders follows, which looks at the copying of existing works and their legitimacy and sense in the current understanding of art. The film takes up the cue from the confusion with gender stereotypes and the expectations of the viewer from the first video. With pictures produced especially for the purpose, the slide show that follows of local tourist attractions, souvenirs in shop windows, architecture and landscape creates a parody on the tourist gaze, playing with the creation of images and digital reproductions. What does the artists’ collective produce anew in their own right and where do they make use of preexisting products? The pictures a copy of postcards? A subtle ironic gesture on the question of authorship. In a time of postproduction, there is no copy and no original.

What role do we play, when and where? This question pops up clearly in the video by Dimitrina Sevova sex male sex female (1997), a parallel projection of male and female persons tending to their everyday beauty rituals. The synchrony of the images of the two sexes, which could not be more different, combined with a soundscape taken from sex videos, overstrains the viewer visually and acoustically and finally reduces the traditional images of man and woman to absurdity. A parody on deadlocked cliché images which in their abundance put themselves into question as if by themselves and dismantle themselves in this way.

In merry-go-round (1998) and three short videoportraits (1999), both short videos by Dimitrina Sevova, a similar deconstruction of the image content and of the visual representation is at work. In the first video, the images change in fast pace between an amusement park with its rotating carousel swings and the portrait of a man held in red. Associative alignments of a sleeping child, a love act and the amusement park result in a loose unity. A picture story standing in the contrast between intimity and everyday things.

In the second video, the textual information mixes so strongly with the photos and film sequences of three women, mother, daughter and grand-daughter living together in a small socialistic suburb apartment in a panel block, that image and text cannot be seen independently from each other. The facts stand exemplarily for the respective generation and nevertheless show three individual life stories. The artist analyses images of women and shows the possibilities for manipulating them in their image and media representation.

In conclusion, the works and artistic concepts of code flow show a critical and differentiated approach to the media.

The works by code flow are shown as projections, the three videos by Dimitrina Sevova on monitor. Their website can be seen at

Martina Weber (*1975, Basel) artist, lives and works in St. Gallen and Basel. 2005 Diploma Fine Arts, HGK Basel. 2005 Director of Kunstraum Schalter, Basel, in collaboration with Eva Theiler and Erhard Sigrist. 2004 Regionale, Plug_in, Basel. 2004 Hundertfrankenshow, exex, St. Gallen. 2005 „Auswahl 05“, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Werkbeitrag. 2006 „Le temps élastique“, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel.

See also the artists' statement by code flow.

As well as the links to online works by code flow.