The UK’s biggest ever festival of video and electronic art. Spanning two cities, a host of contemporary arts venues and both Liverpool and Manchester’s most celebrated night clubs, VIDEO POSITIVE showcases the work of international established artists and introduces a number of rising stars.
Organised by the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, VIDEO POSITIVE 97 uses the theme Escaping Gravity to take a critical look at the relationship between artists and new technology and identify both the attraction and dangerous momentum of new technology as we exit the millennium. The festival will contain over 20 installations by artists from the UK, USA, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Canada, Bulgaria, Norway and Scotland, ranging from sophisticated interactive multimedia pieces to raw and provocative artists’ works on video.
The work of Anneè Olofsson (Sweden) at Castlefield Gallery turns a private world into a public spectacle when a ventriloquist’s dummy swaps places with the artist, spilling out untold secrets.
PUT YOUR TONGUE INTO THE MOUTHPIECE
AND WHISPER IN MY EAR
ADMIT TO ME
THE THINGS YOU CAN’T ADMIT TO YOURSELF
ADMIT TO ME AND NO ONE ELSE
The piece I did for Tramway is a piece that grew during my first visit to Glasgow at the end of 1995: a work with ventriloquism. Developed from earlier works this goes into different directions and different media. The whole idea became clearer when meeting the oldest ventriloquist in Scotland, Dex Warren. I had decided to do a piece working with a ventriloquist dummy looking like myself and to learn ventriloquism. Dex Warren was the person telling me the history and small stories from his life as a ventriloquist, also giving me clues and tricks in learning how it will be to ‘live’ with your dummy.
I use ventriloquism to transfer my conversations through myself – emotional transferences discussing my childhood, memories, fears, obsessions, secrets and confessions. I will investigate issues within myself, both bad and good, and allow the viewer into my very private thoughts and feelings. Using myself as a starting point, swinging between the specific and the general, the private and the public. The dummy and me can also change places with each other.
Ventriloquism is ordinarily connected with comic theatre, and there is something old and sad about it. I will use ventriloquism in a new context within the art scene using an old technique to express our time with a longing for something eternal.