2004, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium

BETTERHUMAN was commissioned by the Arts Center Z33 in Hasselt, Belgium as part of an exhibition, FEEL, curated by Edwin Carels and Pieter Van Bogaert. BETTERHUMAN is a videographic venture into portraiture and performance. As a starting point I followed the formal structure of Warhol’s film, Outer and Inner Space:

“We see Edie Sedgwick seated in front of a large television monitor on which is playing a pre-recorded videotape of herself. Sedgwick is positioned so that her head appears to be roughly the same size as her video image, with her face enclosed within the frame of the television screen behind her. On the left, Sedgwick's video image, in full profile, gazes off to the right, looking up as if she were talking to someone standing above her. On the right, the real (or live) Edie sits in three-quarter profile facing left, addressing someone sitting off-screen to the left of Warhol's movie camera -- an arrangement which at times creates the illusion that we are watching Sedgwick in conversation with her own image. Warhol shot two 33-minute sound reels of the two Sedgwicks, video and live, and then projected the two reels side-by-side, with Reel 1 on the left and Reel 2 on the right, to create a quadruple portrait of his star.”

In the effort to remake this Warhol film, the work of course evolved into something very unique. Capturing the outward beauty and the inner turmoil of the “star” using the doubled portraits and then doubling the projections, BETTERHUMAN then expands one more dimension into the physical space of the theater where the video/film is projected, presenting the “star” in real (live) time, increasing the ordeal of his subjectivity as he endures this faceoff with his televised self in front of an audience.

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