An Image Speaks a Thousand Words

Michal Rovner: Topography

Michal-Rovner-at-Pace (1)
One hears the saying that pictures, although silent, have the potential to inundate words, thoughts, sentences, bias, shouting at times because of the reverberating imagery before one’s eyes. Even the “Moving Image” of Film and Digital Video speaks to viewers, arguably more so when the images themselves are silent, allowing choice on the part of the viewer to personally interpret imagery without the authorship of dialogue preconceived by media ideology (screenwriter/director/actor) to fully direct opinion. Michal Rovner’s Digital Video and Film Installations at Pace in Chelsea (on view from Nov. 8 – Dec. 22, 2012) speak volumes from both sides; silence allows viewers to vividly partake in their own interpretations, while Rovner’s auteurship guides opinions through chosen imagery and artistic technique.
Stripped away to a bare categorical delimination, Rovener is a video artist. Her Pace show is divided (mainly) into two subsets: LCD Video Screens (in the first room) and Film Projections onto either black or white large slabs of Limestone (last two rooms). Her current show utilizes a minimal vocabulary of motifs, all abstracted to haunting silhouettes inspired by nature that delicately move about the “screens” (whether the LCD or the Limestone backdrop). Silhouette motifs include: droves of walking figures, slowly swaying birch trees, decorative fauna and in one limestone projection, frontal views of robbed women. Rovner’s conversation is refreshingly subtle; her artistic intent and the political ideological inspiration does not ostentatiously overwhelm her screens. Rather, silence (used both literally as a lack of sound but also as an idea defining the abstraction of imagery) is used as an appropriate means to an end, allowing ample space for viewers to delicately digest the aesthetic repetition of the looping images. With no beginning or end, Rovner implements a digital looping so the pictured LCD scene or Limestone projection continues in a single unbroken scene. Like a city that never sleeps, or a movie that never ends, we’re captivated with Rovner’s nature/technology infinite dreamscapes.
Rovner’s voice is subtly heard through her nature/technology dialectic; through technology, Rovner is able to enhance, express, represent, symbolize, ameliorate, burgeon our environmental world, calling our attention to nature’s capability to actuallly loop for an eternity, simulating our resemblance to the natural world by abstracting all figuration to stark dramatic imagery and continually repeating motifs as long as the technology behind the mechanics of the show allow. Interested in the materials used, overwhelmed by Rovner’s visual/spatial/temporal dimensions or inspired by the power of muted imagery, Michal Rovner’s “Topography” exhibition speaks volumes through silence.

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