Production line for the future 
 
Production line for the future / The earth, installation, 1st Ural Industrial Biennial, Yekaterinburg, 2010

Capitalism came to the former socialist countries in a flood of mobile images. An entire generation grew up glued to the TV watching videos about the wonders of the West as shock privatization raged outside. Today, that generation is the reserve army of  labor for post-Fordist service industries, and the digital revolution has swept away the memory of the VCR. Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor use the defunct medium to create a production line for the future, only it is one that does the work disassembly. Defunct tapes are gathered, broken, and recycled on tables. The result is an installation whose grid form evokes architectural carcasses and echoes of laboratory constructivism. But actually, the idea of using video tape in this way came from a real practice in Venezuela, where peasants use the magnetic filament to demarcate redivided land. This production line is headed by a banner showing the present distribution of wealth in the world. Its form refers to a famous work by West German political minimalist of the 1970s KP Brehmer, and suggests that it is not just the redistribution of land or property that is at stake in the future, but the redistribution of those artistic languages once associated with Western minimalism. It becomes clear that they are appropriating the erstwhile language of  US artistic hegemony during the Cold War, and are using it to construct and render visible those field that minimal art obscured; they are recapturing it the way you would steal a video tape, and are using it to model a broader social process of redistribution. In that sense, one could say that they are helping to return minimalism to its original political meaning.
excerpt from David Riff's text from Shockworkers of the Mobile Image, 1st Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, catalogue, 2010




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