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Heike Cavallo

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I can Feel, Video Still
I can Feel, Video Still
A friend of mine once had an epilepsy attack next to me.The experience completely altered my perception of the possible states a person can embody/manifest (the two main states being life or death). Unconsciousness is something of an in-between state; a “nothing” state or simply other. The person is alive but non-responsive; a break down point outside of death.That realisation seems to be at the core of the mechanisms used in my work. Concerns such as time (timelessness) and rupture are recurrent themes. Dichotomies such as linearity/infinity, stillness/movement and the discrepancy between the natural/the constructed oppose each other or communicate, often suggesting neurotic states (dualism and restlessness).

One Minute, Video Still
One Minute, Video Still
A major part of my work takes the form of looped videos shown as installations or as part of installations. The loop, like other non-linear processes, doesn’t reveal/allow an unfolding; it avoids conclusion or finality. Control/retention and suspension are also suggested by the loop. Stillness and repetition are part of the same principle. In “I Wish I Was Called Stella”, the viewer is led to believe what he sees on the monitor is filmed in real time inside the space. This process being part of the same idea as the loop, closure is eluded and responsibility limited.Movement, as a more general thing, is also a basis for my work. Simple visual systems and mundane subjects/objects suggest something bigger and challenge the viewer's expectations. Distortions of the practical or primary purpose of objects/images are used to create new meaning. Dysfunctional props/actors often suggest a playful approach with a dark or poetic edge.

Reverie and references to childhood are often present in an obvious or disguised form. Solitude is central to the art-making process (generally) and plays an important part in my work.References to 80's film and popular culture also inform a lot of my work, visually. A time, in recent history, associated with a certain form of denial and carelessness but also extreme imagery (colourful, violent, gory but often sentimentalist and clich-ridden as well). The absurdity but, somehow, inevitability of sentimentalism are often explored in my installations, videos and photographs.Hopefully, the work pushes the viewer to take responsibility for and question what he/she is looking at. The subterfuge is revealed soon enough and the discrepancy between first impressions and 'reality' is disclosed. The viewer is mystified for a second only to be thrown back into the 'realism' of the process. Is it still video or moving photography? Or maybe a “real” photograph, forever waiting to happen.Heike Cavallo.
One Minute, Video Still
One Minute, Video Still

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