Box #1

Buky Schwartz


Collage, 14 x (50 x 14 cm).
Materials: b/w photographs, hardboard

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0212).

*Box #1* is one of Schwartz’s earliest video constructions. The work consisted of an action that took place in a corner of one of the rooms at the ICC, the International Cultural Centre, in Antwerp. A camera was filming the room, while a monitor was facing it, immediately displaying what the camera registered. Black tape was put on the wall, and gradually the monitor also becomes covered in black tape. We can follow the process in the photographs. At the end of the action a schematic image of a box could be seen on the screen, made from the strips of black tape from the wall and the monitor. When viewers went to stand in the corner, they saw themselves on the monitor, caught in a box. In this way they were made conscious of the interplay of illusion and reality that developed between the real room and the room on the screen. This work dates from a period when video was still in its infancy. Schwartz experimented in a playful but critical way with the new medium and made viewers actively conscious of their behaviour. The original setup is not reconstructed, but instead documented in photographic screenshots that become an integral part of the project.

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