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Avatare und Andere

14 September 2001 - 04 November 2001
Opening: 14 September 2001, 19:00
15.09.2001 - 04.11.2001
Opening:14. September 2001, 7 p.m.
Press:13. September 2001, 11 a.m.
Installation View Installation View

An avatar is a virtual character such as the protagonist in a video game or a persona created in and for the Internet. The term avatar comes from the Hindi and refers to the incarnation of a god.
The idea of being in two worlds as a similar yet changed form is well-suited for the description of the self in electronic space. In much of the art of the 60s and 70s, the self as the "other" seen in the mirror of video was fascinating and familiar at the same time.
Since then, technology has further developed, become further integrated into our lives and opened up new possibilities of representation through electronics. It seems that with the advance of technology into our the everyday, little by little it becomes easier to envision ourselves as something or someone else.
Our "other" must not necessarily be perceived as an exact replica and mirror image of ourselves. We can slip into the electronic skin of an avatar. "Ava-tars and Others" presents artistic works that address the shift of representation of the self in electronic space.

A main thread in Kristin Lucas' work is how human beings and electronics are physically and psychologically growing closer to each other.
In her latest installation, "5 Minute Break" (2001) (see picture on top) Lucas introduces her double as an avatar moving through the basement of New York's World Trade Center as if a videogame player just left the console.
The empty avatar explores the videogame-like environment, unable to bring the game or herself to a higher level.

Installationsansicht Erdgeschoß: Dan Graham: Time Delay Room 2 (1974) Installationsansicht Erdgeschoß: Dan Graham: „Time Delay Room 2” (1974)

A landmark in early artistic investigations of the self as the other mediated through closed-circuit video and live audio commentary is the "Time Delay Room" series of installations by the American artist Dan Graham.
His "Time Delay Room 2" (1974/75) was built as a trial piece for his students in Nova Scotia and will be exhibited at the Edith Russ Site for Media Art for the first time in an exhibition.

Lynn Hershman: Detail Installation View Lynn Hershman: Detail Installation View

In the mid-70s Lynn Hershman photographed her alter ego "Roberta" and re-worked the surfaces of portraits as if she were anticipating the possibilities of electronically transformation.
Later, Hershman would employ various digital techniques to produce electronic female characters as in the "Cyborg" series, returning to and revamping the classical genres of photography and drawing.

Victoria Vesna: cellular trans_actions: 091101, 2001, Installation

Artist Statement:
'Cellular trans_actions' consists of a series of works that look at our relationship to time, the constant interruptions, and how the rupture of private and public spaces changes us.
Cell phones are central to the interactions created in public spaces, amplifying issues related to our shifting perception of self.\\ Another aspect of this work is to raise awareness of patterns that occur in technology and nature, in particular the hexagonal shapes that are also at the core of cellular communication technology.
People are given numbers of others and through the mediation of the cell phone, talk to strangers that they would normally not have more than superficial conversations with.
The installations are site and time specific, recording the flavor of a particular geographic and social location.

Avatars and others are not only addressed in electronic works. Markus Huemer, whose main medium has been the Internet until now, will present paintings from the ".arcadia” series in this exhibition.
His abstract works are reminiscent of imaginary landscapes while plaques accompanying the images describe creatures from the Internet.
Both the images and the text create a "virtual" space where the viewer's imagination can make a meeting between the characters possible.

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
Ein Ausstellungshaus der
Stadt Oldenburg