silent rooms, where one's footsteps are absorbed by carpets so thick, so heavy, that no sound reaches one's ear, as if the very ear, of him who walks on once again along these corridors, through these salons and galleries, in this edifice of a bygone era, this sprawling, sumptuous, baroque, gloomy hotel, where one endless corridor follows another, silent, empty corridors heavy with cold, dark woodwork, stucco, molded paneling, marble, black mirrors, dark-toned portraits, columns, sculpted door frames, rows of doorways, galleries, side corridors that in turn lead to empty salons, salons heavy with ornamentation of a bygone era… as if the ground were still sand or gravel or flagstones over which I walked once again […]
Automatons In Marienbad, installation view Human Matter, Malta Society of Arts ~ 2017
Automatons In Marienbad is a work that reconsiders and retimes Alain Resnais’ 1961 film Last Year In Marienbad. In this work Alexandra Pace re-evaluates time and space, not only within the work itself but by extending beyond the screen to engage in robotic dialogue with the space in which it is viewed, simultaneously creating both harmony and tension between the space portrayed in the film and the space the viewer is occupying.
As part of an ongoing body of work that attempts to reconcile the artist’s preoccupation with time, human consciousness and duration, this work takes the fractured structure of the original film and fractures it yet again. By removing cinematic time, Automatons In Marienbad attempts to reconcile the film’s duration with the Palazzo’s duration and while the original film mixes past and present in an ambiguous way, this film puts the in an ‘alter-present’, one which does not have foundations of past and present but alternatively, one which demonstrates a clash of presents.
Digital film + audio, duration: 00:32 mins