TNI A/V posts original podcasts, multimedia essays and playlists designed as forms and formal explorations of criticism, but without all that boring reading.
A new video essay by Evan Calder Williams for Criterion Collection, Judex: There Has Been a Bird looks at George Franju’s recently reissued Judex (1963) to think about histories of empire that don’t make it onto the screen and how one dead bird just off to its side hints at a different grammar of history long at work in the cinema.
“So we would have to say or write: there has been a bird, like we say there has been a murder, which announces a something that’s already happened or been happening but is just now becoming known to us, rewriting our sense of the present.
There has been a bird, and it is dead.“
IVAN: The Reconstruction of Narcissism, a debut composition by POWERHOUSE, explores the notion of using architecture and design as a vehicle for self-transformation by holding the design philosophy: “We are products of our products, therefore our products must reﬂect and encourage our own self-development.” Rather than taking the approach from a conventional design perspective, POWERHOUSE brings artistic motivations to the fore, thus reconstituting the traditional role of the viewer from audience member to user.
Narcissism, as it is deﬁned today, is a surrounded by a stigma of shallow self-obsession, discouraging true objective introspection. However, in their retelling of The Myth of Narcissus, POWERHOUSE imparts new potentiality on the ‘narcissistic condition’, expanding it to a state of revelation rather than one of self-infatuation. In this re-imagined, revelatory state, the water reﬂects a transcendent and transformed Narcissus, one free from external and internal compunction. This reconstruction presents narcissism as the acme of the human experience and as a product of complexity, rather than superﬁciality and obsession.
Each of the pieces encourage a stage of development through their individual characteristics, from form to function. The pieces Dither and Mull embolden the reconstructive process of narcissism, facilitating the users potential to develop. Adamantine and N+ stimulate the ﬁnal stages of reconstruction, assisting the user’s culmination in this evolutionary process. The central piece of the environment, Ivan, serves as a division, or barrier of consciousness, by separating the pieces; urging the user to advance and progress. Together, the pieces serve to vitalize, and ease the user through the stages of this reconstructed narcissism.
The environment created is magniﬁed by the implementation and focus on texture, speciﬁcally of those materials re-examined from the Kuwaiti industrial market. POWERHOUSE reintroduces outdated materials, which are the majority of what is currently available in this market, to create a hyper modern aesthetic while maintaining the practicality of function. Echo, an encompassing soundscape by Chicago’s The-Drum, completes the environment of IVAN – an experience which beseeches the viewer to seize the opportunity to reﬂect, to reverberate within one’s own interior long enough so that eventually, the deep, muddled desire to reconstruct our own reality grows as clear as our mirrored image.
POWERHOUSE is a composition initiative:
Nanu Al-Hamad (Al-Hamad Design) Kuwait / New York
Max Ketant (MEGA.DOPE.POP) Haiti / New York
IVAN: The Reconstruction of Narcissism premieres at the Sultan Gallery in Subhan, Kuwait Feb. 4 at 7pm