• BIO & WORK •
With her video installation Knowing as much as the Man in the Moon – Soviel verstehen wie ein Blinder von Farben (2004) Eske Schlüters lays out tracks for the hearing eye, the seeing ear, the ‘blind seeing.’ Jaques Lacan already warned against the ridiculousness of love, for it constructs an illusion out of a desire bound for failure. His damning verdict declares all symbolic relations to be illusory. Images, however, cannot be separated from the imaginary – no line can be drawn between material and conceived images. This ‘imagination’ within the images (emerging in the spectators’ minds through the observation of the rustling pictures) is challenged by her video installation, as well as orchestrated by means of sound, light, darkness and silence.
Eske Schlüter’s dual-channel projection is split into two ‘narratives.’ One is made up of a composition of various moving images from feature- and auteur films. The other shows a boy-like and a more stout man having a conversation about love. Over the course of eight short episodes, the discourse is held in an indefinable environment, aimed toward and against the camera. With each new episode they switch roles while remaining dressed in the same way. Again and again one of the men whispers into the other one’s ear, the latter then memorizes the information and vocalizes it after a brief pause. One after the other, the phrases are stated in an unconnected-connected way. They are characterized by a dialogic logic which operates outside established conventions.
A central motif of both projections is the reoccurring desire to be lied to: ‘Tell me a lie. To pretend that we`re in love. Just for a minute. That you’ve been waiting for me for years. Without me you would die. You’d never stopped loving me.’ This seemingly absurd, yet self-chosen wish reflects the lover’s longing for metaphors and symbols. The constant recurrence of these spoken words turns them into formulas of exorcism in between the sounds, voices, sound tracks, film sequences, subtitles and black screens. They mirror the turmoil of emotion that the ‘lovesick’ person is aching for, those desired sentences that consequently stick to the ears and the eyes. Phases of doubt – painful when in love – and insecurity are replaced with the self-chosen wish for this one minute of mergence and the returning illusion: ‘There is only trouble and desire.’ ‘Trouble and desire?’. Returned or unrequited love, to be found in the water or on the moon – Eske Schlüters stages the cultural gestures of love in a way that lets them appear to be alien and familiar at the same time.
Eske Schlüters studied with Prof. Eran Schaerf and Prof. Dr. Hanne Loreck at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg. She lives in Hamburg.