For this article, I thought I’d relax and watch some videos as opposed to the previous, ‘heavy’, mind-twisting conceptual installation art, but turns out these films by Aernout Mik are quite heavy in and of themselves. Although silent, they have layers of meaning hidden within, and combined with the way in which they are shown, where the projection screens blend seamlessly into the white gallery walls, produce quite an experience worthy of mention.
These films, except for Raw Footage (2006) which has been taken from archival news coverage of the Balkan war in the 1990s, are staged, with actors in a scene acting out what has been scripted. But, is it fictional? There is no beginning, no ending, no character development and no sound. Just commotion and resulting emotion from the scenes being played out. In Vacuum Room (2005) men in suits sitting behind a desk are trying to have some semblance of a meeting, to agree on something, possibly some legislation, while younger people in casual clothes, seem to be protesting something, and are intent on disrupting the meeting, a daily occurrence in many countries in this 21st century. But in Communitas (2010) its the opposite side of the political spectrum; people are taking over an old communist building in Poland and are holding votes and agreeing with one another in brotherhood and solidarity, if only temporal.