in the mix
Jan Machacek´s spinning black-and-white pictures take us back to the days before special effects were perfected. The performance artist requires neither a stuntman nor a computer to defy gravity and perception in his video. Based on the way a mixer works, he makes no attempt to conceal the film tricks or make them invisible.
On the contrary, the movement of the camera and his body through space are demonstrated clearly: The camera, mounted on a blender, films Machacek´s performance as he moves slowly from the background to the picture´s center for the purpose of interfering with the video image´s mechanical progression with his own body. While standing in the center of the frame he reacts to the camera´s movement, occasionally allowing it to lift him into the air, then hops wildly and gesticulates to counteract its dynamism.
We can hear both the dull thuds his body makes as it hits the floor and panting, which indicates the physical exertion and his presence in the spinning (visual) space.
Viewers are directly involved in the choreographed interplay of these opposite movements in that they are constantly forced to choose between contradictory information: At times the gaze sweeps into the void and assumes the perspective of the spinning blender, then the body dominates again, its animation shaking up the otherwise clearly defined relationship between camera, subject and viewer: The body does not permit itself to be "objectified" by the camera, instead using its "limited" mobility to create its own (filmic) space in which it does not let itself be pinned down by either the camera´s lens or the viewer´s gaze.