Religion as Medium (24 min.)
The Immortal Bodies (29 min.)
Iconoclastic Delights (20 min.)

With the videos presented here, Boris Groys reminds us of the fact that we are confronted with particularly material medium, a medium that, as it were, presents ‘itself’. Rather than being a representation – the expression of an emotion, the purposeful translation (in regard to language and image) of latent or unconscious content, or the illustration of a theory – here, images and sounds have been digitally fixed on a laser disc (in the form of zeros and ones), and are being reproduced as such.

Of course, each video deals with a particular topic.
- In The Immortal Bodies, Groys talks about the body’s afterlife, in film, art film and philosophy.
- Iconoclastic Delights treats the iconoclastic strategies used in film, and the more recent iconoclastic attacks made on film, in the form of new media.
- Religion as Medium discusses the contemporary success of religion as a means that unites people, simply because it has become a completely empty medium, as far as its place in the ‘market of opinions’ is concerned.

In each video we hear Groys’ voice, superimposed over a collage of images drawn from both film classics and non-fiction (television) films. But precisely because each narrative is mixed with ‘found’ images that more or less succeed one another by association, the viewer’s attention is led astray, and the meaning of the text is thoroughly diluted.

The title sequence appropriately refers to each film as a ‘video collage’. Although it seems (at first glance) that the images only illustrate Groys’ text, what is occuring is really the exact opposite. Intermingled as it is with the flow of moving imagery, Groys’ voice becomes just one element (of sound) amidst many elements (of image). The final result is an inextricable mixture of the two: image and sound.

In none of the three films do we witness a harmonious marriage of image and sound. Instead, Groys seeks to underscore the overall discordance between both ‘regimes’. In each film (Bodies, Delights and Religion), image hinders sound, and vice versa. Only by physically or mentally disconnecting sound from image (or image from sound), does it become possible to identify and experience each separate part as meaningful.

As a visitor, rather than understanding something, you ‘see’ or ‘experience’ that which the respective texts try to communicate, since they deal more in particular with the mediality (or the ‘becoming medium’) of respectively, body, film and religion. Mediality is a recurring theme in Groys’ theoretical work. Still, these three videos reiterate the effect of ‘mass media’, in which all meaning dissipates and becomes fragmented. Paradoxically enough, as a result, the meaning of the text as something that can be passed along or transferred un-problematically, is undermined; the information is split-up, rendering the text/picture relationship heterogeneous and reducing the linguistic aspect to a ‘cut-up’ or collage of image and sound.

Related events

This event is part of FRONT-end: Launch of the online media library catalogue

  • Wed 17.9.2008 - Sat 20.9.2008
  • Practical info

    Werfstraat 13 Rue du Chantier
    1000 Brussels

    Opening hours:
    daily from 2pm until late

    Entrance Fee:
    3 euro

  • Artists