In her image cycles Viktoria Binschtok traces the paradoxes of daily life – sometimes she observes the accumulation of the trade mark LVNY in our urban street setting, sometimes she reveals the traces of an ever increasing need based community at the job center or points to the separation of humans within our communication society. Her scope of precisely set visual means reaches from intensification and concentration of street scenes up to almost painting-like abstraction in Die Abwesenheit der Antragsteller. Thus, her photographs always refer beyond of what is in effect depicted.
The current exhibition Spektakel gathers images from Viktoria Binschtok’s newest cycle flash. She has extracted stills from a news videos on the Internet that shows that particular moment of an event in the flurry of flashbulbs that is otherwise not perceivable due to the fast sequence of images in a video. Because of the uncontrolled light sources of the flashing cameras the depicted scenery is for a short moment extremely overexposed and therewith virtually erased. What is visible at first is a nebulous mist of light and shadow that only reveals the traces of the ongoing at a closer look: it is the typical gangway of VIPs towards the open back of their limousine. Even if details of the car or a body part are still identifiable the scenery and hencewith the content of the message still remains speculative. In chasing the best shot the message has almost dissolved. Whether the images had a higher information value if fully lit is of doubt, however.
The mere presence of a ‘mob of photographers’ as catalyst suggests a situation that holds the character of the spectacle: extreme attention in a limited period of time as well as the volatileness and condensation of reality. In 1967, Guy Debord has already examined in La Société du Spectacle the effects of this phenomenon on modern society. His delineation reaches from the celebration of the surface, the illusory world of the celebrity cult or the superiority of image and surrogate versus real experience. Since then this state of being seems to have consolidated: almost every society happening must have spectacular traits in order to be perceived; the ubiquitous event culture produces innumerable images and ideas whose information content is neither comprehensible nor understandable.
Even art – that has so far maintained a certain autonomy towards regular life-style – is meanwhile ‘incorporated’. A year of art spectacle has come to an end and the question rises now what exactly one has seen in-between openings, booming art fairs and Biennale touring.
Distraction, indifference or even inner retreat are possible consequences of the ubiquitous spectacle. What remains is an increasing ephemeral interest that is chased after even more fiercely.