ROUTES - 1-channel video >

Not only does the question of humankind and the human condition with its unique form of being, its interactional forms and necessities, its weaknesses and strengths occupy a central thematic focus in art, but also in philosophical discourse. The artist‘s personal artistic goal is to articulate this philosophic discourse not in words and concepts but works of art. Therefore one could draw a parallel conclusion that her work is dialectical art, since it is through its to- and fro movement between the artist and audience, mediated, contained, guided by an appropriate and adequate medium, that this momentum originally develops and is developed.

In philosophy „dialectical“ refers to the enrichment of ideational content and this mutually beneficially altering process which is occurs by being embedded in ever more complex, varying application contexts. Incrementally comprehensive understanding takes place when this process is originally perceived and the different aspects, which although apparently antithetical, unified (conflated) in a new whole, a synthesis constituted by these very differences, united in and through its dynamic tension.

Another dialectical process is revealed when the creative process itself is consciously studied: the artist selects an insight, a problem, a situation from its environmental embedding. This „extraction“ becomes a new idea, a new thought, which in the artistic process of selection experiences alteration and which experience in turn alters its context, that is to say: is released as a new, efficacious thought into the world. This is how art alters the world in mirroring it.

The „Routes“ demonstrates how „single-ular“ an individual qua single drop is. Because the drops are in motion, the faces they represent and reflect alter themselves and this speaks to a kind of plurality in singularity, perhaps the different rolls lived in daily life. This „single-ular“ individual is nevertheless a part of society, for there flow several, indeed many drops.

When one carefully observes these drops, it becomes evident that the faces in the several other, the many drops are actually all one and the same face, which underscores the singularity and particularity, the „single-ness“ of the many. Since however not all drops flow at the same pace, the singular, the individual timing of each individual is addressed.
Observing this installation engages, involves the observer and enable him to observe and thus comprehend the dialectical movement between the individual and society, the single and the many, back through the observation and in the process of observation. This observation is a kind of seduction, because it moves thinking and feeling into a particular direction. The discovery of this direction, this dialectical movement and dynamic tension does not take place in the intellect, but in and through the evocation of feelings, spontaneous associations and as such it remains preverbal.
Maximal momentum, vivacity, approximation and evocation of all that is alive is achieved through Karina Smigla- Bobinski‘s interactive video installations, which from Socrates to Hegel, Heidegger to Sartre was and remains a prerequisite for philosophy. On the other hand, installations by their very nature are ephemeral and illustrate the character of life in its ultimate dialectical antithesis: death. To grasp and enjoy the essential, the eternal in art as in philosophy means that we comprehend its ability to communicate the complex interplay between becoming, being and dissolving as a dialectical process and not a final result.

> Appearances in a world of appearances

(...) Karina Smigla-Bobinski has expanded her range of art utensils, which are traditionally allocated for the use of colour on a painting base. Her “art utensils” can be both colours and light in the form of projected models. Her “painting base” can be a canvas but also the surface of water, a shadow on the wall, or any other projected bodies with reflective properties. Her “painting techniques” and “painting tools” respectively are reflections or projections in which manual interventions or rather operating rules, and especially objects functioning as lenses, take over the transformation of a perceived model into an artistic reality.
It is as if her pictures were “real pictures” next to or within the so-called “reality”, and ultimately this very coexistence lures one towards illusions. The “make-believe” of her pictures opens views and perspectives on an artistically transformed reality whose possibilities as enrichment and communication prevail next to the reality of the observer. They project reality as assumedly “alienated” into the area and bring previously unperceived possibilities into play as their representation. It is almost as if an equilibrium between art and reality is created, between an artificial reality and real art with the common denominator being the “appearance”, a visibility totally dependent on light.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski makes the poetically combined, tapered conversions or rather transformations of her observations and inner recordings appear to look like magic, only to baffle them finally with the soberness and simplicity of her basic principles and avenues of approach.
The undertaken manipulations, changes or alienations of perceived realities in their artistic implementation are based on the simplest of means and techniques: movements are slowed down or accelerated, running directions are altered in opposition to the force of gravity, measurements are distorted, enlarged or reduced, the relationship between action and reaction appears reversed. Thus, for example, a drop of water on a glass surface runs, greatly magnified, upwards. The face pictured on it, behind it, barely recognisable due to the extreme enlargement, is grimacing in “slow motion” on the form of the drop. While it is the drop of water that is constantly changing, it looks very much like it is the face that is changing.
The means are very simple; their effect – the enchantment – seems in contrast all the larger. One has to look very closely to recognise that it is the water as the bearer of the reflected picture that lends the reflected picture breath, growth and life.The possible role swapping of the components of an artistic work and/or “multiple allocations” increases its complexity and thus eludes a definitive analysis. In discourse there is always just one way to go; in Smigla-Bobinski’s art, however, one finds a mind-boggling diversity of interlaced interpretation methods. (...)

© Cornelia Kleÿboldt, M.A., 2005

Technical Specifications

description > video
components > video, DVD player, sound system
premiere > 2002

> Visited places
> Philosophy and Art by Dr. Phil. Tatjana Schönwälder-Kuntze
> Appearances in a world of appearances by Cornelia Kleÿboldt, M.A.