Grace Dodge Hall Ground Floor, Passage to Macy Hall
Lonely Planet, 2016
This work addresses the drastic change in the reputation of Syria and the personal narratives that were lost during this change. Over five years, the image of Syria transformed from being “one of the most peaceful exotic travel destinations” to “one of the most dangerous places on the planet.” In actuality, however, what is experienced is always an in-between reality, in which a certain amount of daily life is mixed with the destructive effects of war. Kurbak interprets and captures the current reality in Syria by editing a travel guide through personal interviews with people who recently fled from the country.
Rafael Lozano Hemmer
Voz Alta, 2008
Relational Architecture 15
Single Channel Video, 16 minutes, 19 seconds
"Voz Alta" (Loud Voice) was commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the student massacre in Tlatelolco, Mexico, that took place on October 2, 1968. Participants spoke freely into a megaphone placed on the "Plaza de las Tres Culturas," where the massacre took place. As the megaphone amplified the voice, a 10kW searchlight automatically "beamed" the voice as a sequence of flashes. The brightness of the light was in tune with the loudness of the voice.
While the searchlight beam hit the top of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was relayed by three additional searchlights: to the north, to the southeast towards Zócalo Square, and to the southwest towards the Monument to the Revolution. Depending on the weather, the searchlights could be seen from a nine mile radius, quietly transmitting the voice of the participants over Mexico City. Anyone around the city could tune into 96.1FM Radio UNAM to listen in live to what the lights were saying.
Video, 4 minutes
Through three video sequences viewers experience what seems like the Vertigo effect created by moving the camera in the direction opposite of the zoom. Oppl recreates this familiar visual effect, but by reversing the role of the apparatuses involved. Instead of moving the camera, Oppl moves the various elements in the room or the entire room itself. The resulting illusion destabilizes and subverts the expectations of viewers whose perceptions are largely trained by mainstream cinema and television.