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Artists: Tamy Ben-Tor / Marnix de Nijs / Mark Formanek / Marzia Migliora / Julius Popp / Reynold Reynolds / Jens Risch / Michael Sailstorfer / Arcangelo Sassolino / Fiete Stolte

Still da Secret Life, 2008
Video proiezione a 2 canali
5’ ciascuno
Courtesy l’artista

Secret Life, 2008
Exhibition view at Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Firenze
Photo: Valentina Muscedra

The whole work is based on the interplay between different time levels: those of nature, man and technology-the latter Reynolds perceives as a tool to explore reality and grasp its mechanisms, which the human eye alone cannot see. The space of the apartment becomes a separate reality governed by a time system that unites the time of nature with that of man. The vital growth of nature, its decay and human life are all placed on the same level, creating a convergence that leads to existential estrangement. Reynolds' female figure engages in everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and brushing one's hair, while moving between two poles-life and death-symbolized by the cyclical quality of nature. Reynolds' images appear to draw upon 17th-century still lives, with their depictions of flowers and fruits as symbolic allusions to the transience of life. The mix of sounds accompanying the images is produced through the superimposition of different ticking clocks, isolated noises and ringing bells. All this serves to emphasize the passing of time, which creates a narrative half way between hyper-realism and dream.

Reynold Reynolds (USA, 1966)

In his works, Reynold Reynolds creates surreal scenes that strike viewers for the social isolation of the characters depicted and for the loss of the ordinary parameters of existence. A primary role is always assigned to external uncontrollable forces such as fi re, water or-as in the case of Secret Life-wild vegetation. Through complex work planned in the utmost detail, in his studio Reynolds directly creates sets in which he experiments with different filming techniques to develop new approaches to space and time. Secret Life is a video installation on two channels, comprising two short films-each five minutes long-projected on the two sides of a screen suspended in space, forcing viewers to move without ever managing to get a simultaneous glimpse of the two sequences of images. For one of the two films, the time-lapse filming technique was used. The camera was fixed upon a circular track suspended and moving above the set at regular intervals, recording one image per stop. When projected at a normal speed, the film appears to go faster, showing the otherwise imperceptible growth of plants that take over the space filmed. In this same place a female figure moves apparently in tune with the vegetation. An analogy can be found between the circular movement of the camera above the set and the growth of the branches which extend upwards across the space. The second fi lm is set in the same apartment, and filmed using the rewind technique. This time the camera is kept on the same level as the woman's eyes, who now engages in wilder and almost animal-like behaviour: she tears out the flesh of a melon and rolls around almost naked amid heaps of rotting fruit in a sequence that unfolds backwards.

Palazzo Strozzi