SELECTED TEXTS & ARTICLES "Rafaël is one of Europe's most highly regarded visual artists. He has performed in festivals, museums and cultural institutions throughout Europe, America and Asia.
His work can best be describe as Live Cinema-- a confluence of video, conceptual art and experimental music, all composed and interpreted before live audiences.
Experimental live music, scratch, appliances, sounds de-constructions, noise & effects...." Article from La Vanguardia newspaper 2011 "In our view Rafael is one of the European stars of narrative performance,always witty, challenging, sensitive and engaging in a way unlike anyone else we’ve ever come across. What more can we say apart make sure you see this.” Nlab @ the Tate Britain 2008 "Rafaël has worked as a video director and live video performer, but his main occupation is photography. The photography and video images are processed with a computer into rhythmical sequences. Rafaël’s work has been shown, among others, at the ICA (Institute for Contemporary Arts in London), Outvidéo in Russia, Vidéoformes in France, etc…” 34th International Film Festival of Rotterdam IFFR 2005 SELECTED PRIZES - Public Special Award at Madatac 05 2013/Madrid-Spain - Prize of the Best video Artwork at Madatac 2009/Madrid-Spain - First prize of live cinema into the 19th International Videofestival 2009/Bochum-Germany - First prize of live cinema into the REC’09 International Film Festival of Tarragona 2009/Spain - Jury Mention at the Independent Exposure 2008/San Francisco-USA - Mention from the jury of Prix de la création video in Vidéoformes 2006/Clermont Ferrand-France - Prize of the Jury in 13th Internationales Bochumer videofestival 2003/Bochum,Germany - Prize of the French Community Committee of Belgium 1998/Brussels-Belgium - First photography prize of imag’Emergence 1996/Brussels-Belgium SELECTED SCREENINGS Tate Britain in London, England Stuttgart Filmwinter in Stuttgart, Germany Madatac in Madrid, Spain Danger Zone in San Francisco, USA Overlap in San Francisco, USA International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in Germany Fst Forward in Antwerp, Belgium Internationales Bochumer videofestival in Germany The Tank in New-York, USA Instants Vidéo in Marseille, France Videomedeja in Novi Sad, Serbia International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) in the Netherlands Transmediale in Berlin, Germany Vidéoformes in Clermont-Ferrand, France VAD in Girona, Spain Exis– Independent Film & Video Festival of Seoul in Korea Media Art Festival Friesland in the Netherlands Freeshout Expressive Fair Festival in Italy International Short Film Festival Hamburg in Germany SESSIF in Seoul, Korea D-NEFF European Experimental Exhibition in Vitoria-Gazteiz, Spain Microwave in Hong Kong Mediterraneen Film Festival (Cinemed) in Montpellier, France Experiments in Cinema V5.1 film festival in Albuquerque, USA Island Art Film & Video Festival in London, England Festival Audiovisual Black & White in Porto, Portugal Instants vidéo in Marseille, France Fluxus in Brazil 291Gallery in London, England Argos in Brussels, Belgium Seoul Green Film Festival (GFFIS) in Seoul, Korea Moves in Liverpool, England Trampoline Berlin in Germany Trampoline in Nottingham, England Outvideo in Ekaterinburg, Russia Drake Hotel in Toronto, Canada Zemos’98 in Sevilla, Spain Institute Of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, England
SELECTED PERFORMANCES National Museum of Contemporary Art of Korea (MOCA) in Seoul, Korea CAIXAforum Barcelona in Spain Monkey Town in New York, USA Gwangju Design Biennale in Korea Paysages Electroniques in Lille, France PechaKucha in Seoul, Korea REC International Film Festival of Tarragona in Spain Cimatics in Brussels, Belgium Cinesthesy in Paris, France Play with Fire in New York, USA Collegium Hungaricum (CHB) in Berlin, Germany Mapping Festival in Geneva, Switzerland VAD Festival in Girona, Spain Experimentaclub at La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Spain HBC in Berlin, Germany Electrosonic Festival in Burgos, Spain Sputnik Cinema in Berlin, Germany AVIT France in Paris, France Sonorama in Besançon, France Exis-Experimental Video & Film Festival in Seoul in Korea AVITUK05 in Birmingham, England Strobe Festival de Video I art Digital in Amposta, Spain Belgie Kunstencentrum in Hasselt, Belgium Staalplaat in Berlin, Germany Yogiga Gallery in Seoul, Korea Recyclart in Brussels, Belgium Festival Panoptica in Luik, Belgium Internationales Bochumer videofestival in Bochum, Germany Vidéoformes in Clermont-Ferrand, France Beursschouwburg in Brussels, Belgium Pukkelpop Festival in Hasselt, Belgium Cinéma Nova in Brussels, Belgium INTERVIEW
To some people, VJ'ing is no more than moving wallpaper. Of course we know better, but it's always nice to see it being recognized as a proper art form by other people as well. And when it gives people the chance to travel the world showing what they do, it's even better. Rafael is such a lucky person.
Overall, Resolume is mostly used by VJs in clubs. Yet you perform more in museums. Do you think people perceive your work differently because of that? Yes. It’s like if you put one painting in a toilet, and the same painting in a museum: people are going to look at this differently. Maybe it’s unfair, but it’s like that. People go to a club for dancing, and to museums for looking… Recently maybe the trend is to invert the two. Museums look more “disco”, with all these “new media” flashy things, and some clubs are getting more “arty”, with the VJ things… Maybe… As for toilets & museum, the inversion is already made
Why did you choose video as a medium to express your self in? I come from photography. I never have professors, but I know that they ask to their students to “suggest the movement into the fixed image”. In video, we have already the movements, so what can we suggest? This landscape attracted me. I begin to do short films, videos. Then I realized that I need a more direct interaction with my works. I began to do performances, where I can create in front of a public (when it comes ).
There is a lot of reference to technology in your videos, but also an big emphasis on the human body. What would you say are some of the recurring themes in your work and why? The only things we can be sure about what we call technology, is that is going to get old, useless, and finally die. Exactly like us. Humans & machines are both very temporary concepts. This time space intrigued me. In a way, is very touching and ironic tosee the naïve fascination & fears that people have for the technology they all use… But sometimes I ask myself: what is the real difference between the Morse code in 1912 and the internet technology of 2011? It’s just another way to say “we pour!” . Except that now we can say that with colors & smiley’s
Also, what is the difference of what we call the AV scene of today and the projectionist and the pianist who improvised 100 years ago in the cinema, at the time of silent movies? It’s the technology that reveals humans, and not the contrary. Maybe in the future we’re going to have a science to study man not by the words he uses, but via the buttons he presses. So yes, really, technology is a very human concept, and that’s probably why I interrogate and use this in my work. Can you describe your work process a bit? Like I said before, I came from photos. Most of the time, I build my videos sequences image by image. I try to compose and decompose actions & movements. I like contradictions, so sometimes I like to suggest fixed pictures into moving images mediums. I always have a drama, a “narrative” structure. When I began to do movies & performances, I realized that a lot of artists go to the easy abstract direction. So I found it relevant to come with basic stories.That’s why I am considered as a “narrative” video artist. Because I don’t do just decorations. But now I see a lot of artists try to do that, so I think more and more to go in the screensaver direction. Why not? Everything is cyclic. I use big cliché dramatic scenes, and try to finish more subtle. Because I see a lot of artists who try to be complex from the beginning, and finish so so cliché…
During live performance, you bring a lot of knobs and buttons to the table. How big is the live aspect of your work? Is it pressing play on a playlist, or is there an improvisation element in it as well? It’s more and more and more improvisations. I use a midi controller connected to your fantastic program. Like this and with others tools, I am able to modify the sounds and images like I really want. At events now I use TextEdit along with Resolume during the performance. I really try to create a moment, something more and more “unique”.Sure, I also have a base of video sequences that I prepare before, kind of a playlist. I know before the performance some of the “stories” I want to tell. I have a narrative base, and I improvise into it and around it. Like a free Jazz band: they begin with a basic melody, a rhythm, a phrase, then they improvise around, and modify everything. My video-sequences are THE melody, the rhythm. Sometimes, like musicians, I improvise too much: I get lost. It’s scary to be lost in your own wood. But it’s also very exciting. The difference with the band, is that I play all instruments by myself. I use programs, guitars, keyboards, whatever I found to personalize my performance. Maybe I am a frustrated musician... I don’t know. And Yes I like buttons. It comes from my youth. When I see a button, I need to press it. I can’t resist. Sometimes it can be problematic. Like recently when I pushed a wrong button in the Washington airport… It was a beautiful big red one… It needed to be pressed…
INTERVIEW for the RESOLUME BLOG in AUGUST '11 http://www.resolume.com/blog/post.php?t=8442