I saw two video artworks in two different places that drew a nice parallel in my mind. Nina Yuen's 'David' can be viewed at the NIMk in Amsterdam, Ada Kaczmarczyk's 'Litania' is at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw. I would have posted videos, but unfortunately none are available, so go and see them for yourself or just take my word for it.

1. Nina Yuen - David (2010)
'David' is an adaptation of a text by Carmen Delzell in which a woman enters into a pact with the devil and becomes eternally indebted to him. In the video Yuen performs a number of magic rituals to grant her wishes. The content recalls superstitions my Polish babcias enjoy believing and questions that arise from this, not to mention the implications a mantralike video loop adds to the general picture. Visually, it's beautifully disjointed and succulently coloured. The work was based on this fragment from Delzell's story: "It was beginning to get chilly. Money would really be tight when it got too cold to sell on the street, so I decided to go to a fortune teller. She lived and worked in a storefront in Chinatown. She was fat and sneaky-looking and had only one breast. But it turned out she was right about everything to come and she gave me three wishes. I wished for an apartment, a man, and an antique store...”

2. Ada Kaczmarczyk - Litania (2010)
Kaczmarczyk embedded her video in a small, garish shrine, crowned with a pair of golden high-heels. It strongly alludes to the countless Blessed Madonna chapels you can find in any crumbling courtyard or mud-splattered ditch in Poland. The playing loop portrays a set of young hands clutching what seems to be rosary beads amidst a huge pile of kitsch crap. Muttering, as many Polish babcias do everyday in their church pews, she recites her 'prayers' with great fervour - "I love spending money on crap, I love going out at night, I love painting my nails, I love ice cream sundaes with cherries and chocolate sauce etc. etc." It pangs with wit and brains and I like it.

(Images from artinfo.pl and nimk.nl)


Apologies for the long periods of silence. I'm moving back to London on Tuesday. If anyone knows of a nice, clean, cheap, zone 2, 4 bedroom house in London, let me know! Photographs from Croatia will follow once I get them developed.


I don't wanna sound too soppy and shit, but I'm moving out of Amsterdam today and it's pretty damn sad.

15.07.2010 - It's summer, I'm doing stuff, regular posts will reappear when I feel like it!