Like the other two works making up Suara Welitoff’s Anonymous trilogy, Untitled (Blue) consists of one short sequence. In this case, a group of police officers, some carrying batons, pass in front of the camera with a police car in the background. At this point, the video begins again in a loop. The characters are barely recognizable and the movements slow. The bodies stand out against the background and blue is the only colour. The scene looks like something from a television news programme and recalls the typical images broadcast after an attack or violent clashes during a demonstration. The alienating processing of the material prevents exact identification of the event.
Suara Welitoff’s photographs, videos and items of video information recall the effects of the watercolours technique. The artist works on stock footage to produce blurred, schematic and monochromatic patches of colour in motion: abstract remains of a once realistic image taken from the mass media and nearly always involving episodes of war and violence. She thus eliminates the information contained in the original material and transposes the images into the free formal language of art. Her works are moving pictures that freeze a brief instant of the action, just like a painting. Spectators are faced with a message in isolated symbols that they must decipher on the basis of their knowledge. Unlike abstract painting, however, Suara Welitoff’s works are not completely detached from their object. Their origin in real communications through the media triggers memories in the spectator. The images seem familiar but their processing makes it impossible to reconstruct any direct link with the time and place in which they originated. The boundaries between the different media dissolve and the images become mute witnesses of collective memory.
Suara Welitoff (Jersey City, USA) has held solo shows at the MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and has taken part in group shows at Uovo/15 Magazine in Turin, NGBK in Berlin, the Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Portikus in Frankfurt and the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris. She lives and works in Boston.