Virtual Identities
Palazzo Strozzi
  Strozzina
       
         

 

 


Mass Ornament, 2009
Single-channel HD video installation
5.1 surround sound
Courtesy l’artista / the artist




Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Firenze
Photo: Martino Margheri

Natalie Bookchin (1962, Bronx, NY, USA; lives and works in Los Angeles, USA) creates works that explore new forms of documentary, addressing conditions of mass connectivity and isolation and exploring the stories we are telling about ourselves and the world. Her work is exhibited widely, including at LACMA, PS1, Mass MoCA, the Generali Foundation, the Walker Art Center, the Pompidou Centre, MoCA Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum, the Tate, and Creative Time. She has received numerous grants and awards, including from Creative Capital, California Arts Council, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, California Community Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, Daniel Langlois Foundation, a C.O.L.A. Artist Fellowship and most recently an Artistic Innovation Award from Center for Cultural Innovation. She is co-director of the Photography & Media Program in the Art School at CalArts, Los Angeles.

Mass Ornament is a video installation created with the split screen technique. The artist used hundreds of clips, taken from YouTube, of people dancing alone in their rooms. The material has been put together in such a way that, in their sequences of steps, the different people seem to follow a higher construction or overall choreography. It is not only the dance moves that resemble each other: the rooms in which the private filming takes place, their furnishings and even the types of shots are similar. The title of the work evokes that of the essay by Siegfried Kracauer (1927), in which the author described an aesthetic analogy between the mechanical labor processes of Fordist capitalism and the synchronized movements of the vaudeville shows of the 1920s. In his or her role, the person merely functions for the purpose of the superior formation, in which individuality and humanity are subordinate. The artist herself comments: "The YouTube dancer alone in her room, performing a dance routine that is both extremely private and extraordinarily public is, in its own way, a perfect expression of our age. Just as rows of spectators in the 1920s and 1930s sat in movie theaters and stadiums watching rows of bodies moving in formation, with YouTube videos, single viewers sit alone in front of computer screens watching individual dancers voluntarily moving in formation, alone in their rooms."



    EVAN BADEN
CHRISTOPHER BAKER
NATALIE BOOKCHIN
ROBBIE COOPER
etoy.CORPORATION
NICHOLAS FELTON
LES LIENS INVISIBLES
CHRIS OAKLEY
SOCIABLE MEDIA GROUP

MICHAEL WOLF
Special project: I AM NEDA
Special project: ME 2.0


         
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