Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rodney Graham. (Canadian, born 1949). Rheinmetall/Victoria 8, 2003. Installation: 35mm film (color, silent), Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 film projector, 10:50 min. Loop.
This film depicts a 1930s German typewriter made by Rheinmetall that Graham found in a junk shop. 'It was just this incredibly beautifully made, solidly designed typewriter. Not one key had ever been pressed on it,' he has said. His filmed homage is projected with a 1961 Victoria 8 projector issued by the Italian company Cinemeccanica, a mechanical wonder that Graham has described as 'very beautiful, kind of overly powerful.' 'It's these two objects confronting one another," the artist has said of the installation. 'Two obsolete technologies facing off.'
But they aren't quite confronting one another,  because one of them isn't even there except as an image, and it's only there as an image because the other is producing it. The one is only and quite literally the projection, the dream companion, of the other. And about a minute into the film, it begins to snow.

It's lovely.

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