Extra Academy #23: Adrià Julià

15.10.2014, 18:30 — 22:30 Lecture

Extra University

Extra Academy is a spontaneous alliance of Extra City, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Sint-Lucas Antwerpen.

The guest speaker of 15 October is artist Adrià Julià, on show in the exhibition 'Allegory of the Cave Painting' at Extra City:

Consisting of two films, a series of lenticular prints and a sculpture, Julià’s contribution probes the history of the movie camera as a progressively adapted artificial ‘limb’: an anatomical and visual extension of the cameraman’s body. Advancements in the ergonomics of cameras enhance the ease or speed of the cameraman’s movement, but also create new practices of authorship, new relations between the bodies filming and those filmed. Each lenticular print presented here interposes vintage photographs, such as Robert Capa in 1938 or Jean-Pierre Beauviala holding up his Aäton camera, and drawings made by a medical illustrator. The result re-imagines the camera and cameraman as a single living organism, as enmeshed anatomies. The somatic connection of filmmaking to the human figure reappears in a series of wax casts of the artist’s hand, in gestures of ‘firing’ different cameras. Working in the interstices between the moving image, industrial design and the varying notions of the ‘reality’ that cameras are to capture, Julià’s work analogizes the structure of commercially-produced cameras and the biomechanics of the body. The steadicam, for instance, is a ‘counter-body’ harnessed onto the cameraman, that cancels out the imbalances produced by his movements in following a scene and smoothes out the record of motion. Julià intervenes in the footage in which Garrett Brown demonstrates the capabilities of his invention, following his wife as she runs up and down the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art. The stabilized view produced by the two moving bodies, with the counter-movements of the steadicam as interface, is dissected by Julià in homage to a work collected, by a remarkable coincidence, at that same museum: Marcel Duchamp’s 1912 ‘Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2’. Inspired by the proximity of these two images of time and bodily motion, Julià fragmented and sutured Brown’s footage into something that looks like an animated sequence of chronophotographs by Étienne-Jules Marey, the inspiration behind Duchamp’s painting.

Works in the exhibition:

Recording Machines, Camera Self-portrait I (Scoopic), Camera Self-portrait II (Eyemo-Capa), Camera Self-portrait III (Aäton 7A-Beauviala), Rocky’s Ghost Ascending the Stairs, all 2014

Melted Camera, 2013

Language English

Location Kunsthal Extra City - Antwerpen-Berchem, Eikelstraat 25-31, 2600 Antwerpen

Allegory of the Cave Painting 20.09.2014—07.12.2014