Xenia K. Dieroff
15 November – 15 December 1996
Xenia Dieroff is a young German-born artist who works in video and other time-based photographic media. Her work explores codes of behaviour that touch on questions of sexuality, mortality and identity in ways that are both humorous and poignant in equal measure.
In her first solo exhibition, Dieroff will make a new video installation for Matt’s Gallery which will be her first major commission.
Viewed through a window in a false wall built between two pillars in the gallery, a film unfolds in two distinct halves. Against a melancholy orchestral soundtrack the first section presents a succession of women whose demeanour suggests self absorption and sadness, yet remains ambiguous, refusing to reveal their exact nature.
The second half of the film, however, develops quite a different atmosphere. At first impish, the rousing score underpins a ballet of peculiar activity which, as its tempo increases, builds to a triumphal revelation.
Juxtaposing the trappings of silent film with a false documentary style Dieroff’s work comments on the construction of the act of watching and, under the pretence of studying something more innocuous, the camera betrays a fascination that could be seen as bordering on the pornographic.