Videocompilation / Videoinstallation
Cibulka is above all an accomplished storyteller. Video works play an important role in this, also on account of their audio-visual properties. They often have a documentary character, with cleverly chosen compositions and details. Yet in their narrative power, they go beyond documentation to lead to a further discourse.
A striking example of this can be found in the compilation of the two videos fireflies (1999) and getting my name up there (2009/10). The work features the portraits of five female New York musicians in the space of 10 years. Katharina Cibulka forgoes the classic before-after situations, and instead uses different methodologies to bring us closer to the protagonists’ biographies and their socio-economic surroundings. The musicians are seen in the cool, late 1990s as they experienced that particular moment; we come to know their strong desire for the future (“I want people to know my work”) and their work as music makers through various scenarios embedded in the atmospheric gloom of the underground clubs. The handheld camera work makes the images seem very lively, direct and immediate. A decade later, the scene changes; we encounter the women in their private residences, speaking in a concentrated way, somewhat hardened (“[…] actually she works all the time to survive…”), with a statically positioned camera. The break in the narrative style is not a contradiction; instead it methodologically underscores and emphasizes the text and image level. It is touching to see how the dynamic of these young adults has mellowed over time, how self-centeredness was modified and rearranged with the surrounding space and shared experiences in mind.
Videocompilation / Videoinstallation, 16mm film, 10 minutes, New York, 1999
Semper Depot Wien, 2010 (Exhibition view)
I ASKED, Neue Galerie Innsbruck, 2011
Solo III Katharina Cibulka, Fotogalerie Wien, 2012
Filmstills: Katharina Cibulka