Marie José Burki

Ateliers d’Artistes

Most of the previous video works I’d seen by Marie José Burki were about suspense, stasis, waiting: for instance, the monumentally scaled projections of Exposure: Dawn, 1997, which turned the gallery walls into windows through which one saw prostitutes in the red-light districts of Antwerp and Brussels waiting for their clients. Neither discursive nor narrative, the projections approached, instead, the stillness of mural painting, though in sharp tension with a sense of boredom and expectation that could only be evoked by the fact that these were, after all, moving images, if minimally so.

In contrast, Burki’s new video installation, To pass round the cakes, 1999, plays with traditional cinematic codes, reworking the familiar set piece around a dinner table, which one has seen in myriad films. The tension between stasis and movement remains essential to the work’s force, but here it is

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