One Voice Makes Two Perspectives
9 June – 11 September 2011
Curator: Lorenzo Benedetti
In her work Kelly Schacht goes in search of a very specific moment in time by reconstructing emotional situations and memories. She explores the act of exhibiting and the material space in which this act takes place by evoking new atmospheres and situations. In that dialogue between space and matter, Schacht brings into focus the conflict between illusion and reality, the imaginary and the concrete. The exhibition takes shape through the evocation of sensations and visions expressed as perpetual movements. The space is a dynamic element because its perception is bound up with the experience of the person who inhabits it.
The specific temporary dimension of the exhibition space is what decides Schacht to work with the moment at which the space becomes image, the image as a memory and witness of this precise moment; a situation in which the present moment is often split in two. This building up of moments which are part of another temporary dimension brings to mind what Bergson said about ‘the déjà vu’ as quoted by Paolo Virno in his essay Il ricordo del presente: “As it unrolls in time, our actual existence duplicates itself alongside a virtual existence, a mirror image. So there are two aspects to every moment of our life: the present and the virtual, perception on the one hand and memory on the other”.
Virno continues on this subject, asserting that: “In the déjà vu, instead of cancelling each other out or following one another, these two modalities are related and work together in unison: a paradoxical coexistence of the real and the possible in one and the same event”. The mise en scène is the result of using technical elements borrowed from the theatre, cinema and photography. When Kelly Schacht places reflectors, tripods, screens and the like in the space, it is often to remind us that fiction is inevitably a reconstruction, a concrete element in the installation. The presence of these instruments of spatial illusion shows that Kelly’s work is based on the attention she pays to the moment of the exhibition, to this specific space as a symbol of the imaginary space. So the artist uses the instruments of cinematography not as technical instruments to represent an invented reality, but as objects which transform the whole space into a place of memory. This reconstructed dimension leads us into a narrative dimension.
In Kelly Schacht’s installations dialogues and landscape are decisive elements which help us confer temporality on a fragmented, abstract narrative. In the sentences projected onto screens or formed with the help of minimal sculptures, one can make out instances, moments, fragments of a situation, of a story. These ‘snapshots’ are projected into spaces which serve as sets for them. Schacht’s work tacks between abstraction and narrative and creates podia on which she can stage fortuitous episodes from ordinary life in the extraordinary dimension of the absolute.