Carey Young, Pilvi Takala, Neda Saeedi, screenings and artist talk with Neda Saeedi

February 7, 2016

4pm

© Carey Young. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
© Carey Young. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Carey Young–Product Recall

2007, 4 mins 27secs

B. 1970, Lusaka, Zambia. Lives and works in London, UK

Conceived in relation to I am a Revolutionary, this video considers questions of identity, autonomy and commodification. We see Carey Young invited into a psychoanalyst’s consulting room. She is asked to match from memory a series of advertising slogans with the corresponding brands. The slogans are those of global corporations (all of which are active as art sponsors) that brand themselves around such “imagination” or “inspiration.” It remains unclear whether the point of the exercise is for the artist to remember the slogans, or to try to forget them.

Courtesy Pilvi Takala, Carlos/Ishikawa London
Courtesy Pilvi Takala, Carlos/Ishikawa London

Pilvi Takala—Real Snow White

2009, 9 mins 15 secs

B. 1981, Helsinki, Finland. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Pilvi Takala often places herself in precarious situations and films these scenes with a hidden camera. Her videos may be regarded as investigative or embedded self-portraits using the artist’s self to spotlight everyday absurdities that would otherwise remain blind spots. In Real Snow White, she dresses up as Snow White and tries to get into Disneyland in Paris. But the security guards are alerted and prevent her from entering. Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 1937 was the first feature-length animated film in history. And if we can believe the guards in Disneyland, there is a real, authentic Snow White living there for whom no one else is allowed to be mistaken.

Courtesy Neda Saeedi
Courtesy Neda Saeedi

Neda Saeedi—Self Portrait

2013, 10 mins

B. 1987 in Tehran, Iran. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

We watch as the artist’s eye is opened forcibly by a bracket, recalling scenes from Stanley Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange. Yet what that eye sees is concealed from us. It is forced to look at us. We hear a biographical sound collage consisting of noises, text fragments, music, and sounds, including an Iranian children’s song, recordings from demonstrations in Tehran, and the warning “Bitte zurückbleiben” (“Please stand back”) on a Berlin subway platform. The process of drawing the self-portrait is left to our imagination, however. A sense of pain appears to dominate in this video, though it remains unclear whether it is derived from the artist’s memories or, rather, from our urge to classify them and to attribute them a biographical origin and our projection of what that might be.