Interactive HD-video installation, no sound, 2011
On the ambivalence of interpersonal exchange
Installation The Gift, 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York, Dez 2011 - Jan 2012 , 1:52 min
One of the actors in full length (without interactivity)
The Gift, Shubhu, viewing copy of one of the 31 videos in full length, low resolution, 4:02 min
The Gift explores the ambivalence of interpersonal relationships. The observer is interactively building up a relationship with the figures in the film.
The visitor is sitting at a table in front of the projection screen. The table seems to continue into the video. The boundaries between reality and illusion dissolve. On the other side of the table – in the video - sits a person with a gift package. S/he offers it to the visitor.
When s/he reaches for the gift, it is handed over. The gift vanishes on the border of reality and illusion. The person fades away. Then the next person sits at the table offering a gift package in another colour. And so on.
If the visitor doesn‘t take the gift, s/he won’t get out of the loop.
But what is inside these gift packages? The meaning remains open. Are these beautiful presents? Or are they Pandora’s Boxes?
All the time, we are passing our metaphorical “packages” on to other people and exchanging “gifts” with them. But we never really know what is inside these packages. And sometimes they have a false bottom….
By watching carefully the face of the person offering the gift the observer can imagine what is inside the box. Every person in the film is telling his or her individual story.
There are 31 persons in the video, coming from very different professions, social backgrounds, experiences, different nationalities and ages. I asked everybody to choose a gift package and to put in something symbolically. While filming they imagined somebody sitting behind the eye of the camera who would take the gift. I didn‘t ask anybody what he or she put inside his package.
Excerpts from all of the actors
The Gift, excerpts from all of the actors, low resolution, 9:20 min
John A. Parks
Universal Principles Of Art
100 Key Concepts for Understanding, Analyzing , and Practicing Art
The video installation "The Gift" is the example for interactive art.
Rockport Publlishers 2014, ISBN 978-1-63159-030-6