Torben Jost

Diva

VIDEO INSTALLATION
OPENING FRIDAY 14 2020 / 18:00-21:00
SATURDAY 15 2020 - SUNDAY 16 2020 / 13:00 - 18:00
A HOLLOW PLACE GALLERY
SUPPORTED BY ONASSIS STEGI

Silver curtains fall from the ceiling and separate the space.  Lights and sounds seductively lure one to enter through the tinsel and take on the role of the singer.  Inside awaits what appears to be a karaoke setting except that the microphone is not plugged in. The text overlay on the screen scrolls too quickly.  Singing along should not be done here.  Instead, the observer hangs onto the text on the screen and onto the lips of the diva.  Thus, the focus is shifted from the experience of the observer to the scrutiny of the video material.  

The diva is a pop cultural figure whose appeal and power lie in her vulnerability.  She is revered for the extreme emphasis and aestheticization of her pain.  This cult-like worship of the diva is also found within the queer tradition where the dream of stepping into her position is fostered.  Part of the ambivalence of this figure, is that cultural industrial choices and economisation processes form part of the background of the diva phenomenon.  

DIVA is a space-filling video installation which consists of a karaoke setting, glitter curtains and disco lights. It plays a video loop based on found footage from fourteen different performances from divas of the disco and motown era.

 

The installation questions the separation between artistic work and exhibition viewer, between object and performance.  Whoever strides through the tinsel curtains will become part of the installation and object of observation for other viewers.  The boundary between the performance of the diva on the screen and the performance of the observer in the exhibition space blurs.  

Torben Jost lives and works in Leipzig and Berlin. He studied at Universität der Künste Berlin and currently studies Time-Based Arts at Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle.

As a media and performance artist he uncovers the discursive constructions which pervade media and everyday objects. His work focuses on the recontextualization of these artifacts in seemingly familiar settings. The transference of those situations in an art context facilitates to uncover hidden meanings and power structures. He is especially interested in topics as intimacy, identity and the production of meaning.  

https://torbenjost.cargo.site/