Alexander Schellow

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Within his animation-projects, German Artist, Alexander Schellow, has developed his drawing practice as an instrument to observe everyday forms of involuntary perception and memory. In the frame of a series of projects initiated by MELD, this strategy is used as a tool to focus on the phenomenon of water and more precisely, a specific daily perception within different specific contexts. Following the first Berlin-version, WASSER_I_11/2009, the second part of the filmic research takes place in Athens, Greece. More precisely, Streaming focuses on the Kifissos River, which structurally builds, metaphorically speaking, its line of narration. Imagine: What if some Athenians would still say: let’s meet on the other side of the river. The street shown on a map would be called ‘Kifissou.’ A motorway. Not a river. When we set out, we were intrigued by the existence, or more accurately the non-existence, of the river. For the elders, the river is still engraved in their minds as a dramatic memory and experience - a river that at its essence was a sacred source of inspiration for economic, social and cultural development has now become a social and physical border. For the younger generation, the river has transformed into a geographical reference point, only to be reminded of its existence during annual floods, but has otherwise vanished from their collective memory. In conjunction with the Athens Olympics in 2004, the construction of the Kifissias freeway, which began in the 1970s, was finally completed. As a result, the Kifissos River, where according to lore ancient Athens was founded and which has historically served as the formative axis of its development, has since been nearly entirely covered within the city perimeter. Streaming is an exploration along Athens’ Kifissos River, which, as an actual urban environment, has nearly disappeared. The river’s material and imaginary ‘presence’ in daily life is researched, along with the related strategies of remembering, forgetting and actualizing. By that the project reconstructs the flow of the river through the perceptions and practices that preserve this former reference line of Athens’ cartography as an urban reality – despite its eradication through urban planning. In a series of talks and interviews, Schellow follows local and trans-local narrations, weaving what becomes the urban reality of Athens. This process is strongly interlinked with a research by drawing-reconstruction, focusing on the structural change in perception of the urban riverside, bit by bit caused by the discovered parallel narratives. These stories and maps become the mental foil for walks following the broken line through the city. Later on, reconstructed from memory, the visual surfaces of these walks become documents of a specific inscription. What is known automatically becomes part of what is seen and even more - what is remembered. Conversely the drawings again have been integrated in the continued parallel talks as sort of pulsing devices. A reciprocity of information plays with the idea of a mutual animation. Streaming confronts projections, ideas and utopias by experts from different fields including architecture, history, economics and politics on the past and future of the Kifissos in constellation with testimonies of interlocutors living in different immediate neighborhoods in proximity to "the river" - and combines/activates this in relation to a singular perspective of an outsider. After a first presentation of drawings and text-archive in the frame of Theo.do.lites (Centre of Contemporary Art Singapore, April 2013), the piece developed for ikonoTV now marks the second step of the project’s development-process: the material is radically reduced to its visual quality, decontextualized from its text- and soundcorpus. Streaming is an experiment to meld the gathered multimedia material with the image-surfaces as a continued stream of narration. Streaming will be launched during the first Online Video Art Festival, produced by ikono.tv, and Ars Electronica Total Recall: The Evolution of Memory, both in September 2013. Technical Information - Video 15-minute loop First work produced specifically for Television and to be shown on a television screen.

Bio

Alexander Schellow *1974. Lives and works in Berlin. Studied at Universität der Künste Berlin and Glasgow School of Arts / since 1999 ongoing practice with the process of visual reconstruction from memory in drawing series, animations, installations, lectures, performances, book publications / Collaborations based on this practice with scientists and artists in various fields / international exhibitions, screenings, site-specific projects and research in museums, galleries and biennials, including T.I.C.A.B. – Tirana International Contemporary Art Biennial (Albania), 1st Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Museion (Bolzano), Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, deAppel arts centre (Amsterdam) / Biennale Lyon / Fondacion Proa (Buenos Aires) / Le Fresnoy (Lille) / FID (Marseille) / long-term institutional cooperation with Galerie Ute Parduhn (Düsseldorf), the film production company FILMS DE FORCE MAJEURE (Marseille) as well as with the international production platform MELD (New York, Paris, Athens) / 2011 founding of index.film in Berlin / since 2007 teaching positions at universities and postgraduate institutions including in Paris, London, Brussels and Konstanz / Grants and residencies including Akademie Schloss Solitude artist residency, the Max Pechstein Award, Mecenes du Sud and a Senior Fellowship at the Zukunftskolleg of University Konstanz.

Links

- Homepage of Alexander Schellow - www.alexanderschellow.de - Melding Stories | Meet Alexander Schellow

Curators' Special

Part of the curatorial selection of MELD