Forma

A Secret Understanding

A Secret Understanding presents a series of specially-commissioned films made by visual artists in response to rare or unheard versions of songs by great bands and vocalists. These unique fusions span a wide range of visual approaches, from animation to video sampling and media art, and represent a broad review of musical styles, thereby engaging and surprising a wide audience. The works are presented as a looped programme, cinematic style within a gallery, some single screen and others diptychs.


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A Secret Understanding

Various
2007

A Secret Understanding presents a series of specially-commissioned films made by visual artists in response to rare or unheard versions of songs by great bands and vocalists. These unique fusions span a wide range of visual approaches, from animation to video sampling and media art, and represent a broad review of musical styles, thereby engaging and surprising a wide audience. The works are presented as a looped programme, cinematic style within a gallery, some single screen and others diptychs.

  • Credits

    Originally commissioned for Beck's Fusions 2007 by Forma in association with the ICA, London. Produced by Forma.

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Graham Dolphin, Expressway To Yr Groove(y), 2007

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Graham Dolphin

Expressway To Yr Groove(y)
[Into the Groove(y) by Ciccone Youth] 

Graham Dolphin takes objects and icons from fashion and music and reveals the obsessions beneath popular culture. In his digital animation for the pod, iconic images twinkle and flicker like glitterball reflections, while the soundtrack builds, quickens and recoils again.

Expressway To Yr Groove(y) was created by Graham Dolphin in 2007. Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.

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The Star Spangled Banner Recurring
[The Star Spangled Banner performed by Jimi Hendrix]

Footage of Jimi Hendrix playing his version of the American national anthem at the 1969 Woodstock festival is shown repeated across a grid of twelve panels, with each panel starting a half a second after the other. The repeated images and soundtrack create a cacophony of noise, electric guitar feedback and a visual echo across the single screen. By simple repetition the original performance is transformed, dislocating the image from its soundtrack, creating a distance and dislocation from the captured moment of the performance.

Courtesy of the Artist and SEVENTEEN, 2007

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Doug Fishbone, Also Sprach Zarathustra by Eumir Deodato, 2007

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Doug Fishbone

Also Sprach Zarathustra by Eumir Deodato 

Doug Fishbone has created a surf celebration, a piece to fill the pod with the awesome and other-worldly majesty of big–wave surfing. Blending footage of some of the world's greatest surfers with a disco–classical groove – Eumir Deodato's legendary remake of Stauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra – Fishbone brings an epic surf vibe to the city.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma. Footage from Billabong Odyssey courtesy Billabong. Footage from Shark Park courtesy Greg Huglin Films. Footage from Biggest Wednesday, Blackwater and Teahapo's courtesy TB Productions.

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Installation view, A Secret Understanding, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, 2009. Photo: Nicolas Lackner (courtesy of Kunsthaus Graz)

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Clare Langan, I Gaer by Sigur Rós, 2007

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Clare Langan

I Gaer by Sigur Rós 

Dublin–based artist Clare Langan combines dramatic seascapes, shot in extreme slow motion, with the ethereal rock of Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Projected across multiple screens, the visuals create the illusion of a giant tidal wave surrounding the viewer. Langan creates an experience that reflects upon the fragility of mankind in the face of nature.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma. Supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

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Nick Jordan, Norwegian Wood by Cornership, 2007

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Nick Jordan

Norwegian Wood by Cornership

In his film of a solo male folk dancer, Manchester-based artist Nick Jordan presents the time-honoured Norwegian ‘halling’ dance, which is intended to demonstrate strength and virility to a female partner. Situated in a traditional woodland settlement in Norway and set to Cornershop’s cover of this Beatles classic, Jordan’s work makes connections between seemingly unrelated elements, exploring the complex relationships we have with the unruly natural world and our own multifaceted cultural histories.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.

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Installation view, A Secret Understanding, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, 2009. Photo: Nicolas Lackner (courtesy of Kunsthaus Graz)

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Oliver Laric, Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers, 2007

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Oliver Laric

Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Berlin–based media artist Oliver Laric creates a new instrumental cover version and video of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, composed entirely from video clips of amateur renditions found on video–sharing websites. The film reconstructs the song note by note, as an ever–multiplying audiovisual collage.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.

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50 50
[versions of songs by 50 Cent] 

Berlin-based media artist Oliver Laric is one of the most adept artists working in remix today, best known for his online video hits on YouTube, in which he treats treats amateur videos as found media loops. 50 50 (2007), is entirely composed from YouTube clips of amateurs rapping some of 50 Cent’s famous songs.

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Installation view, A Secret Understanding, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, 2009. Photo: Nicolas Lackner (courtesy of Kunsthaus Graz)

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Torsten Lanschmann, Sway by Dean Martin and Julie London (Rip–Off Artist Remix), 2007

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Torsten Lauschmann

Sway by Dean Martin and Julie London (Rip–Off Artist Remix) 

Set to a radical, seductive remix of Martin's quintessential rumba track, Lauschmann's film sees animated digits sing, dance and sway around each other, collapsing and reforming in sync with the audio's electronic interventions.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.

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Installation view, A Secret Understanding, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, 2009. Photo: Nicolas Lackner (courtesy of Kunsthaus Graz)

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Lia and @c, o/68 from O Superman (for Massenet) by Laurie Anderson, 2007

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Lia and @c

o/68 from O Superman (for Massenet) by Laurie Anderson 

Lia, with sound artists @c (Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela), produces a reinterpretation of Laurie Anderson's 1981 hit O Superman (for Massenet). Using software–driven processes and manual manipulation, Lia creates a series of graphics based on Anderson's video, while remixed audio puts minimalist–inspired piano rhythms alongside the original beats and melodies.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.

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Erik Van Leishout, Kingdom Come by Jay-Z, 2007

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Erik van Lieshout

Kingdom Come by Jay–Z 

Dutch artist Erik van Lieshout presents footage shot during his recent travels through Israel, set to Kingdom Come by hip–hop giant Jay–Z. Lieshout creates an exploration into human behaviour and social–cultural realities, documenting a spirited journey in his very personal and provocative way. The film is part road movie, part pop video and part performance.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.

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Installation view, A Secret Understanding, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, 2009. Photo: Nicolas Lackner (courtesy of Kunsthaus Graz)

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Jane and Louise Wilson

Who Knows Where The Times Goes by Cat Power 

Shot in the Kazakhstan desert and a a series of empty industrial and urban architectural spaces, the Wilsons' film alludes to the ghostly presences of the people, politics and industry that once populated these places. Combined with Cat Power's version of Sandy Denny's song, the piece evokes a sense of places lost to the passage of time.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.

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Installation view, A Secret Understanding, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria, 2009. Photo: Nicolas Lackner (courtesy of Kunsthaus Graz)

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Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Am I Relapsing, 2007

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Young–hae Chang Heavy Industries

Am I Relapsing?
[Everyone's Got to Learn Sometime by Beck]

Young–hae Chang Heavy Industries is Young–hae Chang (Korea), and Marc Voge (USA) creating text–based animations. Their simple, provocative slogans, manifestos and meditations have caught the attention of audiences worldwide. Am I Relapsing? tells a tale of one person's struggle with everyday life and all its injustices.

Commissioned by ICA for Beck's Fusions, 2007. Produced by Forma.


Previous presentations

2010

The Triskel Arts Centre, Cork, Ireland
Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia
MediaDepot, Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine
Balaklava Odyssey, Lviv, L'vivs'ka, Ukraine

2009

Kunsthaus Graz am, Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria

 

2007

Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Background image: Doug Fishbone, Also Sprach Zarathustra by Eumir Deodato, 2007