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Martin Arnold: 'Whistle Stop', 2014. Video, Single Channel, colour, sound, 3'20'. Courtesy by Galerie Martin Janda

Date: November 6 - 30, 2014
Place: Royal Pavillion
Co-organized by: Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo

The work of Austrian experimental filmmaker Martin Arnold (Vienna, 1959) uses avant-garde visual effects to make spectators reflect and incite them to play "the game of producing new meanings" in the image. He is best known for his experiments and re-creations using found footage.

This project, a product of the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo's collaboration with the European Film Festival of Seville, features a selection of works that aim to throw spectators off balance with Arnold's cinematographic technique of "singular deconstruction". Appropriating silver screen classics, Arnold's raw material consists of very familiar footage-primarily Hollywood movies and Disney cartoons-which he scours in search of hidden patterns, using a unique method of manipulation to achieve results of almost supernatural bizarreness that reveal the dreams, hopes and taboos of the era and society that spawned them.

In the words of art theorist Steve Anker, "Black ironies underlie all of Arnold's work and in a recent group of short films, he discovers sinister underbellies in that most popular form of family entertainment: animation." His pieces feature fragmented figures whose anatomy is no longer recognizable as such, to the point that they resemble remote-controlled marionettes. Twitching hands, dancing tongues, blinking eyes and snoring mouths move like ghostly apparitions against a deep black background, a yawning chasm that engulfs and disgorges the restlessly floating body parts. Harmless scenes are transformed into eerie sequences that convey frustration, fear and aggression, as well as an unsettling erotic component and a hint of vulnerability. Commenting on the similarity between cartoons and horror movies, Walter Benjamin once said, "All Mickey Mouse films are founded on the motif of leaving home in order to learn what fear is." In the same way, Arnold's installations leave the home of the familiar and comfortable to venture into the chilling depths-armed with a dark sense of humour-that lurk beneath the bright, crystalline surface of those animated films we all grew up with.


This project is a collaboration with Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla:

Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla




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