Grahame Weinbren

SONATA

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CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1995

Grahame Weinbren’s SONATA is interactive cinema, realised in a spatial installation. Visitors can influence and change the course of the film by grabbing a frame that hangs freely in the room and producing an infra-red field that acts like a touch screen.

Only very few artists are able to handle this hybrid form of art that includes video as well as film. Over the past decade, Grahame Weinbren has established himself as the most brilliant representative of this group, not only by his virtuosic command of the above art form, but also by being able to use and exploit the artistic potential of the latest computer technology.

After “The Erl King” from 1986, SONATA is Grahame Weinbren’s second interactive film. In this work he combines scenes based upon Tolstoy’s short story “The Kreutzer Sonata” with elements from the biblical story of “Judith” into labyrinthine, associative image sequences and a linear cinematographic narrative. Furthermore, he tries to approach the arbitrary complexity of trains of thoughts and dreams: The viewer may watch the same scene from the point-of-view of different characters and enter different narrative threads. Thus, an individual version of the artwork is created (“fictional mind”), an individual “meditation” about the (Tolstoyan) claim that art—and especially music—potentially creates violence. This is extended by the question of immanent violence in relationships between the sexes with the story of Judith who seduces Holofernes only to behead him afterwards.

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