Magazine article Artforum International

Bull.Miletic: GALLERY PAULE ANGLIM

Magazine article Artforum International

Bull.Miletic: GALLERY PAULE ANGLIM

Article excerpt

For the past decade, Oslo-based artists Synne Bull (Norwegian) and Dragan Miletic (Yugoslavian) have been working together as Bull.Miletic, producing film- and video-based installations that link the mediating effect of cinema with urban spaces. At Paule Anglim, the former San Francisco residents placed the Eiffel Tower and its Parisian environs at the center of their exhibition, "Mise en abyme." Visible from the gallery entrance, the iconic French landmark seduces, cast as the protagonist of Par Hasard, 2009, a single-channel video depicting the turn-of-the century marvel in all its evening glory. The piece begins with side-by-side shots of the tower in which (a la Pierre Huyghe's Les Grands Ensembles, 1994/2001) the two edifices speak to each other via pulsing lights: NON, LE PASSE EST FANTASTIQUE (No, the past is fantastic), one declares in Morse code; NON, L'AVENIR EST FANTASTIQUE (No, the future is fantastic), the other replies. The work's title suggests the meeting is "by chance," and, as in any French affair of the heart, the action quickly moves from talk to more complex, wordless exchanges and subjective viewpoints. The camera cuts to tracking shots from within the steel structure and back out again to wide pans of the entire form.

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Beyond this work's suggestion of Gallic romance, the exhibition delivers, across four other thematically related works, a Situationist-inspired renegotiation of space, time, and place. Take, for example, Original Copie, 2010. Here a transcription of the messages relayed by the towers has been transcribed across two sheets of paper: On one, the line praising the past has been typed in red; on the other, the phrase favoring the future in carbon-copy blue. Perhaps it can be said that the show's subtext is located in this irreconcilable desire to occupy two temporalities at once, and in the discomfort of inhabiting the present moment. And indeed, returning to Par Hasard, it's evident that past and present are merged here too--a duped film (made circa 1900 for Edison Manufacturing) shot from the Eiffel Tower's elevator while it was in motion is interspliced with present-day footage, digitally processed to appear aged, filmed from the Metro as it passes over the Seine. …

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