Johann Lurf and Gina Telaroli
The concept of this exhibition project by Michael Strasser, entitled Coupé International, zeros in on exactly the capability of getting to know two artistic positions from different backgrounds in a new and enriching way, through a curated juxtaposition.
In case of Johann Lurf (lives in Vienna, Austria) and Gina Telaroli (lives in New York City, USA) two oeuvres meet, which because of their different aesthetics perhaps communicate little with each other at first glance. Lurf’s films are often of a formal austerity and reduction, comparable to trends of the so-called structural film; Telaroli’s works are characterized by their accumulative approach, both in terms of the (often appropriated) source material and the multiple editing processes.
What certainly unifies Lurf and Telaroli in their artistic approach, is their knowledge of technical contingencies and the possibilities of cinematic expressions, which both virtuously implement in their work. The use of found footage in this context can be seen as an indication of their reference to film history / ies and also for their awareness regarding the historicity of audiovisual media. In case of Lurf and Telaroli so it is a preoccupation with film, which – in their self-referential, media reflexive practice – always have knowledge of the specific potentials of this art form.
Johann Lurf (born 1982) is one of the youngest representatives of the Austrian experimental film.
Vision machines which not only uncover the structure of the images they produce but also subject them to scrutiny: This definition describes the ten short films by Johann Lurf, ranging from extremely focused studies on movements and places to conceptual foundfootage montages. To disrupt conventional modes of perception and produce new ways of seeing, Lurf builds systems based on mathematical formulas. VERTIGO RUSH combines tracking shots with zooms moving in the opposite direction, generating a frenetic, hallucinatinatory scenario of transgression of all boundaries in a similarly virtuoso fashion, RECONNAISSANCE relies on telephoto shots of a former military test plant – with the result that parts of the site look animated as if by an invisible hand. ENDEAVOUR uses NASA footage of a space shuttle launch to generate a thoroughly rhythmical staccato of images, beaming the spectator into zero gravity, and back to earth again. Moreover, Lurf keeps zeroing in on given building peculiarities of Vienna’s urban hinterland, to which A to A and PICTURE PERFECT PYRAMID bear vivid structural testimony.
Gina Telaroli is a Cleveland, Ohio-rasied and currently NYC based filmmaker, visual essayist, critic, teacher, and manages the video archive at Sikelia Productions. “I guess I make accidental, found-footage movies,” says Gina Telaroli of her evolving aesthetic, which includes not only abstract experimental work, short film and feature length, but also film history-obsessed live action and online criticism.
Something of an autodidact, Telaroli began filmmaking after enrolling in the digital cinema program at the computer science school DePaul University. The men running the program “knew nothing,” leaving her “free reign to check out the equipment and teach myself,” she says. She moved to New York in 2005, where she started at the bottom of the career ladder. (“I stood in Herald Square and gave people hand massages.”) Telaroli eventually began getting better jobs while expanding her cinema-going activities, which included visiting the city’s still vibrant repertory cinema. Her film-going habits are reflected in image and video essays at her Tumblr, juxtaposing shot sequences from films old and new, as well as her co-editing of critical dossiers on William A. Wellman and Allan Dwan.
Artists: Johann Lurf, Gina Telaroli
Curator: Michael Strasser
Magazine: Text by Naoko Kaltschmidt
Location: Project:ARTspace, New York
Partners: Project:ARTspace, Austrian Cultural Forum New York
Financed by: Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria