STEFANOS TSIVOPOULOS | The Real The Story The Storyteller

04.02.09 - 21.03.09

"Untitled (In Plato's Cave)", 2008, two channel video installation (video still)




AD Gallery proudly presents the second solo exhibition entitled "The Real The Story The Storyteller" by Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Prague 1973) featuring the work: "Untitled (In Plato’s Cave)", 2008, two channel video installation.
“Untitled (In Plato’s Cave)”, 2008 is shot in a reconstructed lab in Berlin, which was made with the use of photographs from archives of Geyer Berlin as reference (initially a cinema post production lab that was converted to the main lab to be used by the German Propaganda Ministry). The lab was equipped with original equipment of the 1940's taken out the Film Museum Berlin. The work features an Arriflex 35, the first professional hand held camera constructed mainly for the needs of war reporters, pointing out the fact that the wider use of the moving image reinforced the development of equipment like cameras, film projectors, editing systems and techniques. During the Second World War people in Germany were flocking to theaters to watch the advancing of the troops in the Eastern Front.
In Tsivopoulos work this historicized version of a lab is juxtaposed to a present one. The actual video consists of two parts, in which the same actor plays both the role of the war reporter of the 1940s and a contemporary one. In both parts he edits and finally watches a short film that consists mainly of cut-aways taken out of propaganda and war film reports. The films show basically neutral images of nature or architecture that exist between war images and are mainly used as passing or editing shots.
The video “Untitled (In Plato’s Cave)” makes us rethink the fundamental role technique plays in a process of visually re-constructing and actually forming our mediated reality. In his account of the cinematographic apparatus Baudry proposes a direct analogy between the spectators and the prisoners in Plato’s allegory of the cave. In these terms the cinematic dispositif becomes the prototype of all dispositifs that frames everything that can be sensed, desired and subjected to. It is not just a dream machine but it incorporates the final accomplishment of the history of inventions and the absolute actualization of all historical memory. We might have to believe that Hollywood is indeed the end station of all enlightened utopia or the incarnation of desire that is already present in Plato’s cave! The work of Tsivopoulos invites us to take a critical stand on such beliefs.

Sotirios Bahtsetzis
Extracts from the catalogue Stefanos Tsivopoulos, The Real The Story The Storyteller (2008) (adapted version for the presentation of the work at AD Gallery)

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