Studio for Propositional Cinema has attracted much attention in recent years due to their innovative exhibition formats and polemic poetics. Their work draws directly on the tradition of conceptual art and deals with the use of language as a means of creation, interpretation and communication. This practice frequently manifests itself in the exhibition space as text installations but also as performative moments.
Studio for Propositional Cinema often attempts to stretch the formal and temporal conditions of given cultural forms (exhibitions, publications, cinema, theater and now opera) beyond traditional consumable formats, expanding them to unfold in fragments and iterations over geographical distances and expanded time periods. Interwoven with these tactics are the voices and materials of the exhibition format itself: exhibition design and architecture, didactic mediation, publication and design, as well as the voices and realities through which the host institutions speak.
Redundant as eyelids in absence of light. is the libretto for a five-dimensional dystopian opera that is realised in various formats: as a concert in Basel, as an exhibition in St.Gallen and finally as a forthcoming publication. For the exhibition at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen Studio for Propositional Cinema has conceived the libretto as a minimal, context-specific sculptural installation throughout and beyond the exhibition rooms. In the process the flow of spectators choreographed by Studio for Propositional Cinema articulates and activates the text, and the libretto is “played” through the architecture of the exhibition rooms.
A dystopian narrative unfolds of a world in which all forms of language and interpersonal communication have been mitigated or eliminated. Each of the six songs of the libretto represents the desperate attempts of the protagonists to relearn various forms of communication. The characters yearn for connections in a world in which expressive and dialogic forms have been suppressed to the brink of being forgotten: The Rag-picker strives towards the language of textiles, The Lens-grinder towards the production of images, The Sound-collector strives for sounds and Dancerfor the language of movement; two of the protagonists try to record and disseminate these forms of language; The Transcriptionistand The Pigeon-breeder. The seventh character, The Archivist, has the task of collecting and cataloguing all confiscated objects relating to these activities.
Set within the legal conditions governing this narrative’s reality, «SCENOGRAPHY: Redundant as eyelids in absence of light.» pictures a world perched at the logical conclusion of our own society’s trajectory, proposing the exhibition format itself as a discursive form that can and must transcend the monological in order to help to resist a culture pointed towards the permanent erasure of dissidence.
Under the title «RECITAL: Redundant as eyelids in absence of light.» the libretto was performed on the organ of Basel’s St.-Alban-Kirche by Swedish organist Hampus Lindwall on 13 June 2018 at 7 p.m.. The concert was part of the LISTE Performance Project and was produced in cooperation with Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen.
Studio for Propositional Cinema was founded in 2013 in Düsseldorf/DE. Solo exhibitions (selection): Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover/DE (2017); Swiss Institute New York, New York/USA (2017); Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf/DE (2016); Taylor Macklin, Zurich/CH (2016); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz/AT (2016); Tanya Leighton, Berlin/DE (2015); mumok, Vienna/AT (2015). Performances: LISTE Performance Project, Basel/CH (2018); Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf/DE (2017); Kunsthal Bergen, Bergen/NO (2016); Index, Stockholm/SE (2016). Further, Studio for Propositional Cinema collaborates often with other artists such as Keren Cytter, Gaylen Gerber, Irena Haiduk, Karin Schneider and Henning Fehr & Philipp Rühr.