BORIS + NATASCHA

MEDITATIONS #1-5

A GUIDED MEDITATION ON 21st CENTURY ANXIETY (2007)

PHOTOMEDIA INSTALLATION 

  • 5 single-channel videos, each around 6:30 min
  • 4 meta-narrative framed photographs
  • ‚Relax into Fear‘ T-Shirts for museum’s staff
  • 5 fabric booths with black paint and bench seats, each with DVD player and monitor, green switch and headphones 
 

CONCEPT

A series of five videos, Meditations #1-5 is a twisted re-imagining of self-help guided visualisations, albeit with a slightly more sinister bent. This is anti-relaxation for tough times.
 
While visualisations of this kind usually lead the viewer into the light, Meditations #1-5 welcomes us into a darker realm of self-doubt, anxiety, paranoia, angst and panic attacks. Shrouded in darkness and wearing headphones, the viewer actively chooses to start the video by pressing a green switch. The stylized, single-cut, fixed camera view shows a main character in their environment. This is combined with a hypnotic voiceover and a dark, contemplative score by composer David Parsons. The viewer is then lulled through a series of relaxation techniques to end up in a worst case scenario. It remains ambiguous whether the narrations stem from the character’s internal voice or speak to them. 
 
The meta-narrative photos reveal how the video characters are connected.
 

MEDITATIONS #1-5 is a collaboration with Australian artist Natascha Stellmach. More on www.borisandnatascha.com.

AWARD
Biennial of Contemporary Art in Le Havre 2008: The Partouche Award for Experimental Short Film. 
 
 EXHIBITIONS
  • PICA – Perth Institute of Contemporary Art / Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth (Australia) 

    MEDITATIONS@PICA-Perth01

    MEDITATIONS@PICA-Perth02

  • Each video guides us into the transcendental depths of suburban paranoia and insecurity. The dialogue sways between internal monologue and instructional recording, ill-contained anxiety and painful self-consciousness. It’s enough to put me off yoga for a month.

    Dan Mackinlay, Realtime Magazine (Australia)

  • BORIS + NATASCHA share a fascination with language and the discrepancy of diverse perspectives, which might have come straight from a Chandler novel.

    MIKE STUBBS, Director FACT, Liverpool (UK)

  • From mild anxiety to amplified mental distress, it’s a convincing, deeply empathetic political critique.

    Lisette Kaleveld, Thread Magazine (Australia)

  • This is strong stuff.

    Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

  • A tongue-in-cheek exploration into a place where paranoia and panic-attacks reign supreme.

    Ryan Lungu (Australia)

  • It really kind of put me in a strange, connected kind of mood, if that makes any sense.

    Benjamin Penfold-Marwick, Hello Internet (Australia)

  • Despite its irony, it’s pretty heavy work.

    The West Newspaper (Australia)

  • Meditations is a sardonic self-help exercise which leads viewers through an assortment 21st-century anxieties. Enter the darkness, clap on some headphones and try some ‘relaxation techniques’ that are anything but soothing.

    Andrea Tomaz (Australia)

 

THE VIDEOS

META-NARRATIVE PHOTOGRAPHS

BORIS+NATASCHA installing Meditations #1-5, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2007