In the series “Room D: Digital Projects” Lukas Marxt (1983 Graz, lives in Cologne) and Vanja Smiljanić (1986 Belgrad, lives in Cologne) are subjecting the natural phenomenon solar eclipse to a detailed examination. For the film “Shadowland”, they are bringing together various events, which took place on the Faroe Islands during the local solar eclipse on the 20th of March 2015.
It is well-known that a solar eclipse can lead to a significant interruption of the normal routine: When the moon passes between sun and earth and blocks the sun, the regular alternation of day and night is momentarily suspended. And although this phenomenon can be scientifically explained, the solar eclipse is still, at times, linked with superstition and in particular seen as a bad omen. On the first day of spring 2015 the total eclipse started east of Greenland and ended near the North Pole. The Faroe Islands and Svalbard were in the zone of totality.
In their film, which is compiled from material they either found or shot themselves, Marxt and Smiljanić are contrasting the phenomenon solar eclipse with the different reactions to it: A band is creating a meditative mood for the occurring darkness through its spherical sounds, at a different location eclipse-hunters are putting their protective glasses on and are adjusting their telescopes full of expectation. The phenomenon also encourages scientific ambition: a radar station is ready to receive signals, and also an esoteric analysis is carried out by a weather forecaster. At the end of the film the band plays once more, a dramatic performance on a cliff, for the duration of the whole solar eclipse.
Marxt’s and Smiljanić’s cinematic practise in “Shadowland” creates suspense by oscillating between documentary and esotericism. Throughout history, the technically reproduced image was seen as a consistent depiction of reality, but in its early days it was also often used to record occult phenomena and shadow. The shadow that unfolds in “Shadowland” as a motif and spreads out across the world and its inhabitants, changes this world temporarily. With a sense of humour, Marxt and Smiljanić show the peculiarities and absurdities evoked by a darkness that occurs at an unusual moment
Lukas Marxt (*1983 Austria, lives in Cologne) studied at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig (HGB) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Linz. Exhibitions, i.a.: "Lukas Marxt“, Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; "Force of Nature“, Steve Turner Galerie, Los Angeles; "Directed Oscillation, The Biennial of Painting“, Deurle – Museum, Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium; "House Turtel“, Ungersa Archive for Architectural Studies, Cologne; "Lukas Marxt“, OK Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz; "Circular Inscription“, 8 Quadrat, Cologne; "Landschaft: Transformation einer Idee“, Neue Galerie, Graz; "Terra Incognita“, K.I.T., Düsseldorf; "Landscape in Motion“, Kunsthaus, Graz; "WRO Media Art Biennale“, Wrocław, Poland; "The Geologic Imagination“, Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam.
Vanja Smiljanić (*1986 Belgrade, lives in Cologne) studied at the Universidade de Lisboa painting and received an M.A. in Artistic Research from the Dutch Art Institute/MFA ArtEZ in Arnhem. In addition, she holds a degree in Performance and Stage Design from the A. pass Posthogeschool voor Podiumkunsten vzw in Brussels. Performances, i.a.: Schauspiel Cologne; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Ufer Studios, Berlin; Cinefamily, Los Angeles; Beethovenfest, Bonn; Villa Romana, Florence; Drodesera Performance Festival, Dro; Kondenz Festival, Belgrade; Kim? - Contemporary Art Centre, Riga; PAC, Milan.
With the new series “Room D: Digital Projects”, the Künstlerhaus as a Hall for Art & Media complements its program and offers the visitors insights into the practice of young positions on media art. Although designed as an open format, the works shown from May to September 2018 are mainly based on keywords such as “moving image” and the “digital”.