Daniel von Sturmer
Video Clip 2004, 2007
digital video, 1:25 mins
Daniel von Sturmer's ‘Video Clip’ presents an improbable scenario where a perfect but ordinary paperclip is fashioned from a malformed piece of wire. The video playfully undermines the apparent plasticity of form in the hands of the artist. The simple effect of running the video backwards reveals the compulsion to read events in the order in which they are presented, to follow the apparent flow of time as it is laid out before us. The work demonstrates video’s capacity to define a realm into which the viewer steps, suspending their disbelief to follow a sequence of action.
von Sturmer uses video as a test site to explore questions about the nature of perception, the embodiment of time and how context and framing can shape the meaning and experience of an artwork. Developed from studio-based experiments and observations, these videos reframe materials and objects common to everyday experience as unlikely props from which philosophical questions can arise. The short sequences involve elements of humour and slapstick often driven by the characteristics of an object as it falls in space or is caught by friction to behave in some unexpected way. In these scenarios the video frame is a kind of analogue for the frame of perception and points to the limits of the visual language we rely on to understand and define the world. Artistic tropes borrowed from Modernism and Minimalism, Abstraction and Still Life are referenced and replayed in the work as markers of this language in action.
The works test propositions about what is commonly understood as ‘the real’ and examine expectations of visual and physical experience. They reveal video’s inherent ability to render space and time as malleable and elastic, provoking questions about our conception of both. When presented in a gallery these works are often projected as short video loops in installations involving multiple screens, sculptural objects and architecturally-scaled constructions. The viewer is encouraged to move around and between the works, to make their own connections and discover meaning for themselves. In this way, the works transform the experience of looking at an artwork into a consciously dynamic interplay between viewer and viewed.