caraballo-farman, Venerations ((in-between)), 2010. Sound, 00:20
Artist duo caraballo-farman (Leonor Caraballo and Abou Farman) investigate the rhetoric, forms, and figures of mediated euphoria in the popular visual culture, particularly on TV shows. The artists focus on rituals of representation, their iconicity and repetitiveness resembling religious ritual severed from the mystical. These venerations have been redefined in the materialist discourse and endlessly multiplied in broadcast without any promise of transcendence, since the figure of God is absent. But we know that the mystical experience consists precisely in not predicating God. This piece is suspended in-between two stages of worship — affirmative method, or cataphasis, and negative method, or apophasis. Affirmation happens through calling, loudly and repeatedly, of divine names; negation happens through anonymy, which aims at the divine essence by denying it, by not naming it and by erasing its images or substituting them with profane images, its language moving beyond causality and determination, towards madness. Such is the dialectics of the suspended image recorded off a TV screen of a woman’s face with her mouth gaping in an expression either of horror or ecstasy, technical tinnitus sound piercing her muteness. In adherence to the structure of repeat broadcast in both prayer and advertising, this “spot” video recurs throughout the screening, four times.