Factory of the Sun
Main attraction at the Venice Biennale
The video installation by German artist Hito Steyerl was presented for the first time at the Venice Biennale in 2015. The visually powerful installation quickly became a big draw, and probably was the most talked about pjece, at the significant biennale. After its triumphal progress in Venice, the installation has been exhibited at acknowledged exhibition spaces such as Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) in Dortmund, and it is currently on view at Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. When the exhibition opens at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in the beginning of December 2016, it will be the first time the highly praised installation is shown in Scandinavia. Subsequently the work will be exhibited at the highly respected art museum Kiasma in Helsinki.
An immersive video installation
When Factory of the Sun has created excitement at exhibition spaces around the world, it is because the installation is much more than just a video on a screen. As a matter of fact, you’re physically stepping into the art work, which is contained in a black box specially build for the purpose, with a luminous grid as seen in the sci-fi classic Tron. From a deckchair you can watch the central part of the installation – a 23-minute-long movie projected on a big screen – and become enveloped by the soundtrack. Factory of the Sun is a total experience you can immerse yourself in.
Criticism of surveillance
In Factory of the Sun Steyerl deals especially with how technology and images can be used for surveillance and to suppress a part of the population, but also to fight back against the system. Through an absurd story – created by a mix of news coverage, documentaries, video games and dance videos, a story about workers, who are forced to create sunlight by moving in a motion-caption studio is told. The workers have a chance to fight back against those in power, by dancing instead of just performing the physical movements, they are instructed to in the game Factory of the Sun. However, the lines between game and reality are blurred, and the fight about light and energy takes place not only in the game but also in the reality of the story.
Among the most influential artists these years
Hito Steyerl (b. 1966 in Munich) is regarded as one of the most influential contemporary artists in these years. She has exhibited all over the world from Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Chisenhale Gallery, London and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid to Artists Space, New York, Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane and the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea. Hito Steyerl’s importance is underlined by the fact, that she was recently ranked the 7th most influential person in the contemporary art world in a listing made by ArtReview, a leading, international art journal.
The German visual artist and moviemaker holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and is a professor in New Media at the Berlin University of the Arts. She is given the credit for the development of the genre “essay-documentary” and in addition to her new media based art, she is also acknowledged for her research work and have published several books such as The Wretched of the Screen (2013) and Too Much World (2014).
Factory of the Sun is presented in collaboration with Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV), Dortmund and is financially supported by Goethe Institut Denmark and Statens Kunstfond.
Exhibition hashtag: #factoryofthesun