Transfer: A Street Intervention by Jann Clavadetscher

From: Kochstrasse 18, 8804 Zurich
Rote Fabrik, Seestrasse 395, 8038 Zurich
Monday, June 17, 2013

Start time: 8 am

In certain parts of the world the spectacularity of the street—processions, traffic deadlocks, hoardings, grime—is irrepressible everyday stuff. In Zurich, however, such occurrences are not on the daily menu. Consequently, there is little doubt that this city of clean, uninterrupted and zippy street life will be doubly alert to a 35 mm projector trundling over to the exhibition site.

Jann, who currently has a day job at a city multiplex, came into possession of the projector when Zurich multiplexes went digital.

In her essay In Defense of the Poor Image, Hito Steyerl writes, “In the class society of images, cinema takes on the role of a flagship store. In flagship stores high-end products are marketed in an upscale environment.” The essay was published in the e-flux’s journal #10 in 2009; at the time the 35 mm format still had some staying power. Circa 2013, flagship stores all over are frantically upgrading.

According to Steyerl, “The poor image is an illicit fifth-generation bastard of an original image. Its genealogy is dubious.” While the 35 mm image doesn’t qualify as poor in the manner elaborated by Steyerl, it is nevertheless increasingly depleted. Although the richness of the 35 mm continues to be heavily coveted by cineastes, Jann being a case in point, what was until recently top of the charts is now a relic of slowness.

This slowness curbs circulation and thereby impoverishes the icon’s standing in the larger image economy.

Jann embodies this projector; has it on him at all times. While it is true that this intense relation borders on a sort of not-altogether-new fetishisation of the analog; it is also true that the weight of this object and its slowness, stagger the icon and demand a contemplative pace and even a struggle from the artist.

De rigueur digital media will be mobilised to document this transfer and the documentation will be presented at the exhibition site alongside the 35 mm, which won’t be throwing out any images. Outlandishly shiny and sprightly for something that’s hurtling towards obsolescence, the projector’s deliberately eroded functionality is intended, among other things, to draw focus on the crossroads this iconic object is at.

The intervention was a preface to Duende.

– Gitanjali Dang

About the artist: Jann Clavadetscher studied in Ireland at St. Kevin’s College, Dublin, and was awarded the Higher National Diploma (H.N.D) in Media Production. He then studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology and went on to complete his BA in Media & Art at Zurich University of the Arts. His work encompasses and is set within the cinematic landscape which he explores using film, performance and installations. Jann lives and work out of Zurich.

Supported by: Pro Helvetia & Rote Fabrik

I-V) Photo and video documentation of intervention