Peter Land
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Bluz merdevina, 1995. (kadrovi iz videorada)
Step Ladder Blues
, 1995 (Video stills)


Born in 1966 in Aarhus, Denmark.
Lives and works in Copenhagen.

www.nicolaiwallner.com

Step Ladder Blues, 1995 (Video stills)
Video, 07:00 mins., colour, sound
Courtesy Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen

Thoughts on Step Ladder Blues

I’ve always been deeply fascinated, and at the same time repulsed by people who seem to have a clear sense of purpose in their lives. People who can distinguish between what’s important, and what’s unimportant, and refer to their surroundings in terms of their place in the `Big Picture´. I guess it’s a kind of jealousy. I envy these people for the stubbornness with which they are able to maintain their beliefs, the orderliness of their lives, their ability to focus themselves in this world. A world that, to me, seems utterly confusing and disorderly. A world in which any foundation for firm convictions or beliefs is transitory and untrustworthy.

As an artist, one of the questions you are constantly forced to consider is: “What is the purpose of what I do?”. And in the immediate neighborhood of that question you’ll find these: “What’s my purpose as a human being? What’s my justification?”. These are the questions that present themselves most strongly in my work as an artist, but also in my perception of myself as a person who breathes the oxygen we all share, takes up space in this world (and in the line at the grocery store), and bothers people with messages that may be important to no one but myself.

I guess that my work with art is instrumental in my pursuit to establish a valid meaning behind my existence as the ethical structures that I try to create around me become invalid or don’t apply, and as my perception of reality changes or is being changed.

This is the Sisyphean condition that Step Ladder Blues relates to: the scenario of the housepainter trying to fulfill his purpose in vain, constantly climbing the step ladder to perform the seemingly simple task of painting the ceiling and constantly failing at it represents this inability to maintain an underlying meaning to support one’s existence. How does one establish meaning when the ideological apparatus needed for such an act collapses or at least seems very unstable (like the ladder)?

I guess a few words about my choice of music for the video are necessary, too: I know that the choice of Wagner is regarded by some people as controversial. I have to admit that politics played no part in my choice of the overture of `Tannhäuser´ as the soundtrack for the video. The reason for selecting that piece of music was purely based on the fact that it fit so well with the scenery of the video. The music is extremely `heroic´ and romantic, and seems to `climb upwards´ all the time, whereas the housepainter is anything but heroic and constantly falls down. On top of that, I found out that the story-line of this particular opera is about a knight on the quest for divinity. At the end of the opera he finds it, but at the cost of his life. I see that very much as a romantic parallel to my housepainter.

Peter Land, 1998 (edited by the artist 2000)

Rođen 1966. u Arhusu, Danska.
Živi i radi u Kopenhagenu.

www.nicolaiwallner.com

Bluz merdevina, 1995. (kadrovi iz videorada)

Misli o Bluzu merdevina

Uvek sam bio duboko fasciniran ljudima kojima je, izgleda, bio jasan smisao života, iako su me u isto vreme odbijali. Ljudima koji umeju da naprave razliku između onoga što je važno i onoga što je nevažno, i prema svojoj okolini se odnose s pozicije svog mesta u ’Velikoj slici’. Pretpostavljam da se radi o nekoj vrsti ljubomore. Zavidim tim ljudima na upornosti kojom su u stanju da održavaju svoja ubeđenja, urednost svojih života, sposobnost da se usmere u ovom svetu. Svetu koji meni izgleda krajnje zbunjujuće i haotično. Svetu u kome je svaka osnova za čvrsto ubeđenje, ili verovanje, prolazna i nepouzdana.

Jedno od pitanja koje, kao umetnik, čovek stalno mora sebi da postavlja jeste: “Šta je svrha ovoga što radim?” I odmah uz to pitanje vrebaju i sledeća: “Koja je svrha mog postojanja? Šta ga opravdava?” To su pitanja koja su veoma snažno prisutna u mom umetničkom radu, ali i u mojoj percepciji mene kao osobe koja diše kiseonik koji nam je svima zajednički, koja zauzima prostor u ovom svetu (i u redu ispred radnje sa hranom), i gnjavi ljude porukama koje možda nisu važne nikome osim meni samom.

Pretpostavljam da je moj umetnički rad sredstvo kojim pokušavam da ustanovim prihvatljiv smisao svog postojanja, pošto etičke strukture koje se trudim da stvorim oko sebe postaju neprihvatljive, ili neprimenjive, i pošto se moje viđenje stvarnosti menja, ili ga drugi menjaju.

To je taj sizifoski položaj za koji se vezuje rad Bluz merdevina: scenario u kome moler bezuspešno pokušava da ostvari svoj cilj, neprekidno se penjući na merdevine da bi obavio naizgled jednostavan zadatak krečenja plafona i, neprekidno, ne uspeva u tome, prikazuje tu nemogućnost čoveka da održi smisao svoje egzistencije. Kako da čovek ustanovi smisao kad se ideološki aparat potreban za tako nešto raspada, ili je, bar, čini mi se, veoma nestabilan kao merdevine.

Pretpostavljam da treba reći nekoliko reči i o izboru muzike za video: znam da neki ljudi smatraju da je Vagner kontroverzan izbor. Moram priznati da politika nije ni najmanje uticala da za svoj video odaberem uvertiru za operu ’Tanhojzer’. Jedini razlog za takav izbor jeste što to muzičko delo tako dobro ide uz scenografiju videa. Ova muzika je izuzetno ’herojska’ i romantična, i čini se kao da se neprekidno uzdiže, dok je moler sve samo ne heroj, i stalno pada. Pored toga, otkrio sam da opera govori o vitezu u potrazi za božanskim. Na kraju opere on ga pronalazi, ali ga to košta života. Ovo shvatam kao veoma romantičnu paralelu sa mojim molerom.

Peter Land, 1998 (redigovao autor 2000.)