For Space Release #16, CIRCA Projects present ‘Scene Shifts, in six movements’, a film conceived and directed by Jani Ruscica (b.1978, Savonlinna, Finland) – the artist’s first solo presentation in the UK outside of London. The presentation of Ruscica’s film, immediately after the exhibition ‘The Need for Speed’ by Spanish artist Rubén Grilo and before an autumn project by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, forms a vital joining point in the Space Release programme.
A recurring theme within the work is the perspective of visitors in unfamiliar places (such as Tanhoe Bertin’s – a character from Bernard Dadié’s novel ‘Un Negre a Paris’ – 1959, description of arriving in Paris for the first time) – as such Scene Shifts, in six movements offers an opportunity to reflect upon the perception of place in advance of the Space Release summer break.
Through a number of seemingly disparate vignettes, containing a complex map of images, sound, text and spoken word, Ruscica plays with our understanding of place, time and history to create an expansive story across centuries and continents. The audience is called upon to interpret and consider the act of interpretation within the work – things are not as they might seem and repeat viewings encourage alternative understandings.
A tracking shot takes us through an empty city boulevard, the narrator explains the changing effect of the place upon him. ‘Everyone here is on a stage and plays a role’, he states as the camera pans up to reveal the facade of a film set – a simulation of a generic cobbled city street, viewed through a cinematic eye, perhaps Paris or perhaps somewhere else in Europe. In other scenes, a woman describes an experience at an airport border – discovering gesture as an alternative to spoken language, a man fantasises about the image sent on the back of his postcard and a harpsichord recital is performed on a chinoiserie-decorated instrument (traditional chinese-esque illustrations). These ‘shifts’ enforce the idea that place is a constructed subjective experience, as one character states – ‘the landscape is a wild wavy line’.
To coincide with the exhibition at CIRCA Projects, linear/painterly; plane/recession; closed/open form; multiplicity/unity; clearness/unclearness a Summer Screening of film works (2005-2013) by Jani Ruscica will run throughout June at Hilary Crisp Gallery, London. In Autumn CIRCA Projects will present a new publication about Ruscica’s practice in connection with the Space Release programme.
Jani Ruscica (b. 1978; FI) received an MFA at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki and has attended various institutions including Cite Internationale des Beaux Arts, Paris and De Ateliers, Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions have included Forum Box, Helsinki and Camden Arts Centre, London. Group exhibitions have included KitchenerWaterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener; Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’Art Contemporain, Luxembourg; Hilary Crisp, London; The Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool; The Nordic Biennial, Moss; Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm. Screenings have included KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; MoMA, New York.
CIRCA Projects project with Jani Ruscica was funded with support from FRAME Visual Arts and The Finnish Institute in London.