Single-channel Video with Audio
Edition 1 + 1 AP
The Angel of History was first figured in 1920, by Paul Klee. Its image is kind of reminiscent of a child painting, It is simple, maybe even ugly. Even so, Walter Benjamin bought the oil transfer, and fell in love with it. In 1940 Benjamin wrote about the Angel:
“A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though she is about to move away from something she is fixedly contemplating. Her eyes are staring, her mouth is open, her wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. Her face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, she sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of her feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it hasgot caught her wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels her into the future to which her back is turned, while the pile of debris before her grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”
The Angel of History is a main character throughout Menkman's work. She is the main protagonist in works Collapse of PAL and A Vernacular of File Formats. She sings a song on the tip of Xilitla. She hangs out in the realm of Vectors in her work DCT:SYPHONING and welcomes visitors to the BLOB of Im/Possible Images. While the materials of her image have changed throughout these works, she is always right there, watching new media and image processing technologies collapse, learning of what can be constructed of their ruins.
Rosa Menkman focuses on noise artifacts that result from accidents in both analogue and digital media (such as glitch and encoding and feedback artifacts). The resulting artifacts of these accidents facilitate important insight into the otherwise obscure alchemy of standardization via resolutions. The standardization of resolutions is a process that generally imposes efficiency, order and functionality on our technologies. It does not just involve the creation of protocols and solutions, but also entails the obfuscation of compromises and the black-boxing of alternative possibilities, which are as a result in danger of staying forever unseen or even forgotten. Through her research, which is both practice based and theoretical, Menkman uncovers these anti-utopic, lost and unseen or simply "too good to be implemented" resolutions -- to produce new ways to use and perceive through our technologies.
This work is available for acquistion with the gallery's standard certificate of authenticity, the artist does not wish to offer a token for The Angel
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