Video, digital manipulation
3 x 40 sec.; DVD (SD), DVD (Widescreen), Blu Ray (HD)
21:9-16:9-4:3 (2011) is a 3-channel video installation.
It employs monitors of different aspect ratios: a standard definition 4:3 screen, a 16:9 Widescreen television and a 21:9 PHILIPS Cinema screen, representing three of the most common formats in television and film.
The screens of increasingly wider proportions, show looping footage of a wild giraffe running in solitude on an African steppe. A peaceful, if not somewhat unusual image, that becomes more uncanny at closer inspection. The animal appears to possess an awareness of the photographic principle it is involved in, and responds to the limitations of the respective canvases. It is forced to continuously adjust its posture depending on its proximity to the frame border, not allowing itself to be cropped in any way. It obviously has more head room in the taller format, but is almost continuously squeezed in the ultrawide CinemaScope screen. Its method of reformatting is rigorous and crude; it violently curves its neck backwards in the least natural way.
The work originated from a line by Fritz Lang in the 1963 Godard film Le Mépris in which he famously states his disregard for the format: “CinemaScope is fine for snakes and coffins, but not for people.”
Installation view at MU, Eindhoven. Feb-March 2011