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Michel Platnic: Well-Tempered and My Family Portrait

Michel Platnic: Well-Tempered and My Family Portrait

Through a series of three different articles, we are pleased to bring you a closer look at the extraordinary work of Michel Platnic. You can read our previous posts and interviews here on our blog, but we find there is always something new and interesting to discuss with him.

To begin the series, we present two videos of his works; “Well-Tempered” and “My Family Portrait” shown currently at Galleria Continua.

Well-Tempereduses twelve identical flat-screens, framed and mounted on the wall to show twelve iconic historical scenes including May ‘68, Eichmann’s trial, September 11, Hiroshima, Woodstock, Miss Europe. Platnic appropriates these depersonalized images and reinterprets them as each video is assigned a color and a musical note corresponding in rhythm to Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier”. As the music propels the different scenes, we are compelled to shift our assumptions of history and culture having a casual and fluid motion towards progress. Instead, we are presented with the idea that this progress arose through divisions and categorization – thus shattering the very validity of such an approach.

“There is a very precise weight to each of the categories and how we came to that point in history. Is there a possibility to escape the system other than creating a new category?” Said Platnic.

In another room, the presence of the artist himself emanates from the tide of tens of photographs in a video entitled “My Family Portrait. The photos show the army, the police, political interferences, population displacement, slavery, power, the elimination of local particularity.

Indicating that there still might be something to be done, the artist is disguised and alienated, replaying history by rewriting history. Platnic seamlessly shifts from a riot policeman barring the path of refugees, to Eichmann at his trial, a guard overlooking slaves and many others. Again, through his integration into the work, he shares his concern of being himself part of the system and having lost his ability to judge as well as the tools needed to grasp the whole.

“As the title suggests, I am a part of them whether I want it or not and I carry the traces of my own culture history as a tyrant and as a victim.” Platnic said.

Be sure to check back here soon for a more in-depth interview with Michel Platnic about his current and upcoming works, and perhaps his interests in ritual, the role, the place of the body in our society today, essence and appearance… Until then, catch up on past interviews and visit his artist’s page for more information.