Paul Pfeiffer
Media Realities



14 May – 8 July 00



Opening: 13.05.2000, 7 - 10 pm

From May 14 until July 2, 2000 the KW Institute for Contemporary Art present the first comprehensive one-man-show of Paul Pfeiffer. The exhibition is part of the series Media Realities of the Kunst-Werke Berlin.

Paul Pfeiffer, born 1966, grew up in the Philippines and is now living and working in New York. Paul Pfeiffer works with photography, video, computer-animation and digital processes. Taking his themes from films and other media, Pfeiffer employs complex technical procedures in order to alter the original images, enlarging or shrinking them dramatically. The variety and diversity of Pfeiffer's working-processes and ways of presentation - partly video cameras block the view on the tiny screens forcing the viewer to come close, partly the monitors can only be viewed from the distance - reflect and extent the meaning of the works. Using themes such as sport, religion, power, sex and racism, Pfeiffer explores the essential and often irritating facets of the human character: anxiety, voyeurism, control, obsession, the fascination of good and evil. Appearing delicate and amusing, the uncanny and disturbing dimension of Pfeiffer's works reveals itself only slowly but thus all the more powerful.

Pfeiffer's digital videos are "moving still-lives", challenging human perception as well as exploring long-standing issues of painting. Due to the accelerated repetition of short sequences. The essential codes of perception, such as the instant recognition of fore- and background, depth and surface, motion and unmoving, blur or cease to be of relevance. For example, in JOHN 3:16 Pfeiffer took found video footage of a basketball game and re-edited it in order to place the ball in the central foreground of the screen with the play swirling around it. The seeming fluidity of the image belies the painstaking nature of the production process: over 5000 individual video frames have been enlarged and repositioned to create the moving image of a ball in play. In Fragment of a Curcifixion (After Francis Bacon) digital editing and repetition turn the exhilarated outcry of a basketball player after pitching into an aggressive attack.