Drama House

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Alexandra Dementieva

Drama House , ongoing
Co-workers & Funding
casting: Marie Andre, Hicter Anicee, Geska Helena Andersson, Robert Brečević, Andrew Brouse, Jordan Delphine, Anne D'hond, Laurence D'hond, Laurent d'Ursel, Nicolas Kozakis, Boris Lehman, Lot Lemm, Nicolas Leroy, Petko Ognyanov, Daniel Piaggio-Strandluno, Jose Luis Macos Paredes, Kurt Ryslavy, Vera Smirnova, Simon de Wrangel
programming: Bart Vandeput
  • drama house
    1772 × 1329
“Drama house” is a house when the simple ring at the doorbell can have unpredictable consequences; event, one is stranger then another and in the same time all, what happens with habitants belongs to everyday life. Sometimes these circumstances are a little bit exaggerated.
The installation idea is loosely based on the H. de Balzac ‘Human Comedy’. Like the French realist I wanted to create a panoramic view of contemporary society.
Drama-House narrative is a collection of 8 linked short stories placed in a variety of settings, with characters appearing in the windows in response to a bell ring.

The project’s setting is in a contemporary city, with its habitants: new wealth, middle-class, professionals, servants, intellectuals, immigrants, demi-monde and criminals. For this social mosaic the artist choice of characters ranges from literature (de Balzac ‘Human Comedy’, Perec Life: A User's Manual and etc). These characters quickly disclose their base, self-serving natures through films, none of them lasting more than 2 minutes.

Like in Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window, the bright windows of the DH are both confined and multileveled: its stories and visual perspective are dictated by the interaction of the protagonist's confinement in his/her apartment and the participant choice and position from which both he and the audience glimpse on the lives of the various tenants. Cheerful voyeurism affords a droll comic atmosphere that suddenly darkens when one sees clues to what may become violence.

The spectator’s involvement in the resident’s drama/comedy visible from his position is a by-product of both boredom and natural human curiosity. Video-artist is, in fact, a voyeur by trade: the stories are a mere pretext for the artist who is more interested in the implications of viewer’s perspective. The audience actually learns more about the lives of the residents watching them undetected: phenomenon that provides the other vital thread to the script. While the artist offering herself as a visual storyteller, she makes audience accomplices to spying. At deeper levels, Drama House examines issues of moral responsibility and emotional honesty in regards to strangers.

Based on chance and the choices that viewers make, the project explores the contemporary trends in the construction of a narrative and the interplay between diverse informative sub-layers effected through the impact of digital, non-linear media. It also questions the very process of story telling and at the same time considers the way of audience reading. It investigates the differences of individual and collective perception. In other words, the sequence and choices that each viewer selects reflect his own perspectives and behavioral patterns, thus makes the viewer much more than an active participant.

By interacting with the installation the viewer is engaged in the creative process: re-telling the ever-changing story through the utilization of the primary capability of the digitization: reshaping the information. Therefore, each participant walks away with a unique, slightly different vision, each shaped according to his own choices and directions.

Interactive media and the digital environment of the DH and its narrative function through a recognizable metaphor that makes access to the information meaningful: a house as a conceptual society model and an apartment as a private space. This reference transforms the objects and stories in the project into the metaphors and reminds us of the art cultural function: as a site of memory of the social collective imagination and as a site of representation and power.

Drama house is an interactive multimedia installation with various members of its menagerie, which comes alive with the contributions of its users. The open infrastructure provides an opportunity for interactive simulation environment and visualizes technological approaches. The installation is an expanded mixed reality environment that uses a simple urban model as an example illustrating application possibilities. Visitors can manipulate the various scenarios with the bells.
  • aesthetics
    • narrative
  • genres
    • installations
      • interactive installations
  • subjects
    • Arts and Visual Culture
      • expanded cinema
      • perspective
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