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Zbyněk Baladrán, Diderot’s Dream (detail), 2014, two HD video projections, color, sound; 11 minutes 5 seconds, 2 minutes 24 seconds. Installation view.

Zbyněk Baladrán

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Zbyněk Baladrán, Diderot’s Dream (detail), 2014, two HD video projections, color, sound; 11 minutes 5 seconds, 2 minutes 24 seconds. Installation view.

“When is it going to start? It’s already started. When? The dream started long since.” These are the opening lines of Zbyněk Baladrán’s Diderot’s Dream, 2014. For many years, the video essay has been the form most characteristic of the artist’s practice. In this case, the work was divided into two separate videos, each installed in one of two darkened rooms, which operated in tandem to construct a spatial scenario that prompted the spectator to move around the exhibition space, hence between and around the two works on view. The element of movement—or what Baladrán calls performative reading, in which the viewer moves around in order to access and read a given textual narrative—is something the artist frequently explores, for instance in recent projects such as Dead Reckoning, 2014, or Preliminary Report, 2013, in which text was printed on long, thin strips of paper

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