Ars Electronica 1992
Festival-Program 1992
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Festival 1979-2007


Bull´s Head or Revision of the Video Buddha

'Péter Szeleczki Péter Szeleczki

The camera turns towards the monitor
The endless tunnel of self reflection emerges
The camera moves towards the reflection
Passing over the vanishing point
it comes to rest on the Other Side,
where it now holds all focal points.

In America, the age of the mirror and the screen is strictly separated by Baudrillard. And we can truly declare that the period in which pictures were created by physical and illusionistic images has been superseded by a new electronic age, by a general state which creates the consciousness of a constant but profoundless control.

The mirror still maintains the illusion of the pictures, but the video as the great medium of constant transitoriness brings a wave of inevitable and indeterminable pictures: similar to the polaroid picture, the video picture is at one and the same time the start of hyper-realism and the dream world. What "was not" is now captured by a picture, but reality is only possible through art. Even the state of being is only possible through copies, images – this would, in principle, still be one way that could be pursued. But these images are not tangible, they vanish in a moment – this is the accomplishment of simulacrum. The endless wave of pictures floating across the video screen which literally scour through it means that the concept of the picture is being tackled and this moment is recognized and illustrated by Peter Szeleczki with the utmost of clarity.

The camera and the screen, back to back, and turning in a circle could approach one another, in the ideal case, i.e. Liquid Cristal Display, to such an extent that they almost form one single level and constantly point out just how arbitrary and without significance the concepts of picture and image are. The continuous circular motion shows the monitoring function of the video (a demonstration of the omnipresence of the screens in the most introvert way), and points out just how awkward and impossible it is to still say just "one" picture. The apparatus itself does act as a frame, but here we could similarly designate the space of the museum, as we otherwise speak of screen frames or of television as the frame of "reality".

The aesthetic power behind Peter Szeleczki's work is to be found in an introvert and concise way of putting forward the subject, which presumes the maximum of self-discipline and composure and in the tragic moment: in the endless spiral-like depth of the questions asked and in the provocative depthlessness. Szeleczki knows exactly that the terse, concise way of expressing a formulation which leaves much to the observer, only does benefit to the artist, his work and the observer.

One can no more face a sculpture which rotates (?), a world image (?) a copy machine (?) as we can stand behind it, but nevertheless both movements can be executed while both meanings remain empty. What is the picture, what is the image? What is original and what is copy? How long do we need to "create" a picture and how long do we need to"understand" it? What significance does it have that the constant wave of video pictures that roll over us appears like pictures of a nightmare in which future and past are pushed aside?

How can the constant change, the continuous metamorphosis be determined, signifying the end of the metaphor? Where everything is subject to constant change and nothing retains its form, how could we understand the significance there? What Baudrillard meant by the cool ecstasy of communication and what we mean when we maintain that significance and information have split apart and separated was made most evident to me by the poetics of Peter Szeleczki.

This work is unequivocal proof of the fact that concept-art can be continued despite all the modern trends, as there is no experience more exciting than the sensuous imprinting of a train of thought, the final result of a thinking processs which can be experienced and is visible. Szeleczki obviously has the most profound doubt as regards the possibilities of video art.
Peter György