Dobrowolski, Chris (UK)
| 2011-10-10 11:00:59
BADGAST artist in residence October 2011
Project at Badgast: The Cruel Sea - de Wrede Zee
Five mini video installations presented in Satellietgroep's Beambus and talk by artist Chris Dobrowolski.
Photo's: Theo Mahieu, Eric van Straaten.
Chris participated at the Cross Border Meeting at Hastings (UK) for 'Here and There - Ici et La' in 2013.
Previous residency at Antarctica.
Video: Thijs Molenaar, The Videomatic www.thevideomatic.nl
Five tiny installations are presented in the back of the BeamBus Satellietgroep uses for the open air Cinema at Sea. Looking through the rearwindow you can watch the mini cinema’s he created. In each work Chris presented an approach which focuses on the cycle (recycling) of natural sources of energy connected to cultural references. The unfinished quality of the presentation seems clumsy, but is in fact a subtle way to refer to the honesty of his research. It gives the viewer ‘tools’ to connect with the overall sense of vulnerability a person can experience in connection to the vastness of the sea.
The work of Chris has a reference to the well known ‘Droste effect’, but is in fact the opposite. The ‘Droste effect’ - an image within an image within an image – is a strange loop of a self-referential system that ‘zooms in’. Chris does the opposite by presenting very small objects that ‘zoom out’. His work deals with trying to understand the inmeasurable space of the sea by representing toylike miniature worlds. By creating tiny movies - projected by mini beamers inbedded in small objects with an comprehensive size - Chris gives the viewer the opportunity to connect to the indefinite.
His last artist’s residency before BADGAST was in the Antarctic. His works shifts between the artificial and 'authenticated' objects, an interesting approach in the context of Scheveningen on the Dutch coast - an environment with an inspiring mix of latest innovations and 'invented traditions'. JH
Photo: Theo Mahieu
Photos: Eric van Straaten www.ericvanstraaten.nl
Chris: "Though it was thousands of miles away, water is a physical link with the Antarctic to Scheveningen. In the event of global warming the melting of the polar ice cap and subsequent rising sea level will flood Holland.
Precious and relatively inaccessible, for many people the Antarctic still holds a sense of mystery and wonder. This mystic can be transferred into everyday objects and it has been known for ex British Antarctic Survey employees stationed in remote Polar research bases, to sell their unwanted underpants on Ebay as “genuine” Antarctic relics.
This obsession with the authentic was even evident in the early days of polar exploration. When Amundensen and Scott became the first people to reach the South Pole they didn’t do much when they got there other than photograph themselves. Scott died on his return journey and his camera was found with his body. His images were processed later and show him and fellow explorers in a featureless flat white environment that could have been anywhere else in the Antarctic or even in front of a plain white blank canvas.
As part of the residency I took a pathetic collection of Antarctic toys with me. Anything from plastic penguins to cheap representations of Antarctic explorers given as free gifts in packets of cigarettes or tea. I documented these artificial Antarctic objects in the real Antarctic and with this authentication suddenly they became “real” pretend Antarctic objects.
The toys blurred the line between the real and the artificial. Their small scale contrasted with the vast landscape of Antarctica also emphasised their fragility and vulnerability.
In Badgast I intend to investigate these aspects of toys and use the sea as a very real dramatic backdrop for miniature expeditions and visual experiments."
Photo: Chris Dobrowolski in the Antarctic