Marina Gioti
B-ALLES, 2005
Video, colour, sound, 2:00 min.
Sound: Coltnoi
Courtesy the artist


Marina Gioti

November 14 – December 2, 2009

Invited by Katerina Gregos (curator and writer, founder and director of The People’s Cinema, an international presentation platform for artists working with film and video, Brussels)

»B-ALLES« (2005)

In her video works Marina Gioti often appropriates found footage from a wide range of subject matter and manipulates the material through minimal but decisive interventions in terms of sound or editing, in order to shift meanings and draw attention to the semantics of the images in question.

In »B-Alles« her subject matter is a Greek TV-commercial from the early 1980s which advertised trac-ball, an action racquet game that flopped commercially. The clip recalls a West coast ‘California-style’ beach atmosphere, complete with the usual carefree, fun-in-the-sun clichés. The staccato cuts and frenzied repetitions of images that are the result of an intensive re-editing process, coupled with the energetic, upbeat, accelerating tempo of the soundtrack aim to emphasize the tacky quality and amplified sense of exhilaration of the ad. Central to the work, in this respect, is Coltnoi’s musical manipulation of «California über Alles», the well known track by the seminal punk band The Dead Kennedys, which has replaced the footage’s original score. Editing and sound – in almost perfect synchronisation - work together to further underscore the naïve yet archetypal clichés that this mainstream form of advertising – a typology in itself - has come to propagate: the exaggerated atmosphere of euphoria and the myths of bodily perfection, health, youth, happiness, and beauty.

The work, however, not only draws attention to the mechanics of how these images operate but, on a second level, also intimates the global infiltration of American consumer culture, and the way it has unquestioningly been espoused as a lifestyle model, especially by countries on the so-called ‘periphery’ such as Greece. By extent, the video can also be seen as a stereotypical visualisation of how American products and trends have been implanted in our collective subconscious through the propagation of notions of desire. At the same time B-Alles invites us to reflect on the conditions that delimit or define both spectacle and spectator.

Text: Katerina Gregos