STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

Lecture Performance by Sina Seifee.
Length ~45 min. Cologne, Germany, 2015.

Exhibition Concept, Direction and Video Installation with Ale Bachlechner and Stefan Ramírez Pérez


Standing on the shoulders of giants is a metaphor that dwells in a fearful image, which initiates a dreadful respect for the-dead-teacher. The way the dwarf talks about the giant and the way the giant talks about the dwarf, is a discourse. We are in the dossier of climbing, riding, and ascending. There is an impossible address, recognition, fantasy and cry, towards and by the-one-who-sees-more and who is therefore able to tell, teach, lecture.
What does humility mean in science? The metaphor of seeing-far is one of the most important conceptual tools in the discourse of knowledge, which is an ideological as well as an optical apparatus since the Renaissance in Europe and could also symptomize farsightedness in bio-optics related illnesses. This initiates a movement to think about how the world culture is used or used to imagine its future and its language of the future, utopia and collaboration, and what other historical genes from other cultures are influencing a collective imagination of progress in euro-infused-knowledge-projects.
Which giants do we usually climb and which not?

Sina Seifee asked us to direct the lecture performance Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, which was commissioned by the Academy of the Arts of the World for the performance festival Pluriversale II.
Consequently, the content of this talk that was initially created and eventually presented by Sina Seifee, went through several stages of challenge, rehearsal, rerun and reproduction devised by us:
Over the course of the weeks leading up to the performance at Pluriversale II, we placed versions of Sina’s lecture in already existing contexts warranting different modes of presentation: An academic theory class, a guided tour through a museum, a radio interview and a presentation at a Science Slam. Rather than inventing and staging our own, we intended these moments not to be simple ruptures or disturbances of public space but wanted to find receptive stages for our parasitical interventions. Therefore the lecture was significantly altered, deconstructed and adapted for different contexts and audiences.

All the stages of this process were documented and the accumulated material formed a palimpsest of meaning in the final presentation: Here, Sina gave the lecture again in a gallery space, surrounded by an installation of 5 large video projections featuring previous iterations of the talk interrupting, complementing, confusing and expanding his lecture, while also commenting on its themes of the accumulation of knowledge, modes of communication and presentation as well as the collective fantasies tied to the evolution of science. LESS.

IMAGES          VIDEO          PROJECT CREDITS