The one-man show by the Danish artist Thorsten Kirchhoff opened at the Alberto Peola gallery on Saturday 8 November 2003. Kirchhoff's work has always shared a symbiotic existence with that of cinema, so much so that he openly declares that it actually represents more of a data base than just a source of inspiration. In this exhibition, the artist provides us with some flashback-like stills that recall three very different films: Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni; Lifeboat by Alfred Hitchcock and Overdrive, a film in progress, whose screenplay was jointly written by Kirchhoff and Jacopo Chessa from Turin.
The film Blow Up provided the impetus for three reproductions of shots that the main character took of a couple in a park, unaware that they were being photographed and three photogrammes which perfectly illustrate his unsuccessful sentimental relationships. These extruding canvasses bring out a three-dimensional aspect in the work that underlines the physicality of the image.
Lifeboat is a propaganda film that Hitchcock made in 1943. It deals with the plight of a group of shipwrecked British and Americans who discover that their lifeboat contains a Nazi Captain. In this piece Kirchhoff plays on use of an object with which he means to reveal the sense of danger inherent in isolation.
Overdrive is a film in the process of being shot, that describes what happens when man and machine live too closely together. The bond in question is presented in the form of an installation which comprises a hybridised writing desk and a plant (ficus elastica).
The common denominator that unites all these pieces is the artist's aim of staging various aspects of human unease, not so much that caused by nature or the outside world, but rather that which we create and aim at ourselves.
Oil on canvas