Alternative Displays Displaying Alternatives. Physical, moving and visual installations by Marnix de Nijs
July 31, 2015
Laser scans, point clouds, projections and digital interpretations determine our perspective in the installations by Marnix de Nijs, on show in MU from 31 July until 20 September. Meanwhile, they reveal how fragmented and illusionary our ‘normal’ perception really is. The stable, solid view of reality we are so familiar with, is being broken down with casual ease and replaced by different ways of perceiving the world or ourselves.
The projections that are being generated for, or rather with, the visitors of MU, will immediately be recognised as artificial, technical or digital. De Nijs isn’t striving for a convincing imitation of reality. He is well aware that only the abstract and intangible nature of the digitalised images allows for an immersive experience – and for the many divergent interpretations they elicit.
De Nijs builds his installations like experimental setups in a laboratory where he is testing both the technology and its aesthetic, cinematographic and dramatic applicability. In the process, he hardly ever uses technologies that are readily available: it always comes down to experimenting, constructing, tinkering and programming. The expertise comes from all over the world: especially for the development of dedicated software, De Nijs collaborates with institutions like V2 in Rotterdam, the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the University of New South Wales in Sidney.
All of De Nijs’s works are interactive to a certain extent and the visitor often plays an important part in generating the image – or the sound. This can be a very physical and active contribution like in Run Motherfucker Run (2001/2004) or Exploded Views (2008) – installations that provide a thorough workout for people who accept the challenge the work has to offer – or a passive role instead, like in Physiognomic Scrutinizer (2008/2009), Mirror Piece (2010/2011) and 15 Minutes of Biometric Fame (2011) that scan the faces of the visitors and use the biometrical measurements to pair them with comparable faces from a database.
The four monumental installations that are set up in MU have been carefully selected from the interactive oeuvre that De Nijs has been realising since 1998. These works not only function as interfaces between body and technology, they specifically suggest different, more fragmented kinds of perception. What do we see in a flash, in passing by, upon approach, from the corner of an eye? The images move towards us, we progress towards the images –they always remain elusive. And in addition, the works are closely related in terms of location and trajectory – the track, the course, the path we follow.
Opening July 31st, on show until September 20th 2015