Four Videos by Robert Arnold

Robert Arnold

2003, 24:10 minutes, colour/B&W, English


1. The Morphology of Desire, 1998, 5:44 mins

The Morphology of Desire is an experimental project which explores the commodified representation of romantic love in popular culture and the relationship between the still and moving image, using digital image morphing to animate romance novel cover illustrations as a never-ending dance of unrealized desire. This unending movement is segmented into a minimalist narrative by short passages quoted form romance novels.

2. Triptych, 2000, 10:00 mins

A view from a window overlooking Plac Wielkapolski, in Poznan, Poland. The space, divided into thirds by two trees, remains fixed. Time does not.
Shot over a twenty four hour period in early Spring 1999, during a stay as a visiting professor at the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts Studio of Video and Installation. This is the view overlooking Plac Wielkapolski (Great Poland Square), a busy intersection of pedestrian, tram, and other vehicle traffic adjacent to an open-air market. A meditation on an unfamiliar environment by an outside observer, and a response to the work of Zbignew Rybczynski and other members of the Lodz Film Form Workshop of the 1970's. In memory of Antoni Mikolajczyk, head of the studio of video and installation, who passed away a year after this material was shot in his studio.

3. Echolalia, 2003, 2:40 mins

If a phrase is repeated often enough does it become true, or does the truth become meaningless?
Echolalia is the meaningless repetition of words or phrases associated with forms of dementia and asphasia. In the build-up to the war in Iraq certain phrases were endlessly repeated, even by members of the opposition, to the point where these empty rhetorical phrases were confused with concrete facts. I tried to record as many instances of people repeating the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" as I could stand and represent these statements in a way that draws attention to the deadening effect of their repetition, however emphatically they are expressed.

4. Zeno's Paradox, 2003, 5:45 mins

An experimental digital video exploring the illusions of cinematic movement and depth as corollaries of Zeno's paradox: There is no motion because that which is moved must arrive at the middle of its course before it arrives at the end.
There is a picture of a tree, seen from a certain distance. The picture on the tree depicts the scene described in the previous sentence. Without moving the camera during filming, first by dissolving between a series of zooms and then by morphing between stills, we appear to approach the tree until the picture fills the frame and we are back where we started.

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