Parallel Universes Meet at Infinity
For this installation, Manuel Saiz commissioned actors to take a close look at the movements of animals in the zoo and imitate them. In the installation, the animal and the imitating actor are seen in parallel, allowing the viewer to compare the movements as closely as possible. In the triangular constellation of animal, imitator and observer, the first question that arises is what actually constitutes the essential difference between the animal on the right and the human on the left. What is striking is that the actors fail to achieve the spontaneous, intuitive elegance of the animals. They are aware of their task and their effect, which seems to inhibit movement more than the anatomical differences might cause. Since most of the movements of the animals shown here serve to look around and the animals are in the zoo, the structure of the relationship between humans and animals is complicated. The viewer of the installation looks at animals and actors who imitate these animals, who in turn may look at zoo viewers, or even react to them and to the artist’s camera. What at first seems like a simple imitation actually touches the fundamental relationship of perception between humans and animals. Parallel Universes Meet at Infinity stands in two old but contradictory traditions. For many art theorists, mimesis, the imitation of animals by humans in the magical age, for example in dance, is the starting point of all art. In mimesis, man tried to get closer to the animal, to understand it spiritually or perhaps even experimentally better. The systematic comparison, however, here between man and animal, is the domain of science. Like mimesis in art, pure animal observation in science has given way to the past and newer methods. In Parallel Universes Meet at Infinity you can experience both again.
Autor des Textes
Manuel Saiz, UK 2008, 13 min, stumm