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programon the spotjump into cold watercontributions

jump into cold water : contributions
Saskia Holmkvist (director)
Eight Martini, 2004
Lara Horn af Rantzien (voice)
DVD, 4 min.

If a serious expression is connected with a playful one, we start to question the trustworthiness of what is being presented. This is what happens in the film Eight Martini. During the entire 4-minute film the viewer is put into the position of correlating images and a story that do not have any evident connection. Not until the end, when we receive the answer, is it revealed to us that it is about three different expressions that have points of contact but no evident connection: a historical documentary, a didactic narration and a party game.

Eight Martini was an internal expression within the CIA and it’s coming into being is what the film is about. The expression was synonymous with successful results and external acknowledgement – something that the remote viewers within the CIA did not receive. So how did they present their results to the sceptics so that they would find them successful in order to get acknowledged? This leaves us with the question: when is a presentation of a result believable to us?

Saskia Holmkvist (director)
Interview with Saskia Holmkvist, 2005
Josephine Selander (reporter/mediatrainer)
Magnus Liistamo, Ivan Mathias Pettersson, Ulrika Larsson (cameras)
Ulrika Larsson (light)
DVD, 8.40 min.

When we see the title Interview with Saskia Holmkvist we expect to see an interview with the artist Saskia Holmkvist, but a few minutes into the film it is revealed to us that the situation is another. Saskia Holmkvist has hired a media relations expert to train her to deliver a short statement about her work with apparent sincerity and authority. The short statement that Saskia Holmkvist repeats in their training describes her practice with direct reference to this process.

It is about how we comprehend something as being honest and true, states Saskia Holmkvist. Over the eight-minute film, Saskia Holmkvist is instructed in body language, posture, voice timbre, eye contact, in a process more associated with political careerism than artistic development. The interruptions, visible microphones, and self-conscious pauses make it clear that even the most stereotypically ‘authentic’ figure – the artist – is capable of, and possibly is always engaged in – a performance. However, the revelation of the performance is itself carefully constructed. Shot in the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, from several angles using hand-held and fixed cameras, the film’s visual language of authenticity is itself a construction, a language created by media such as reality television. So, our supposed access to reality never quite resolves itself.