collectif_fact, Circus, 2004, screenshot

collectif_fact, Circus

Year: 2004
Type: Video Installation
Media Format: DVD Double projection, SD, 4/3, 576i
Duration: 5'23'' loop
Credits: In collaboration with Swann Thommen, sound: Jean-Jacques Duclaux
Acquisition: Permanent loan from the Digital Art Collection, Basel (Annette Schindler and Reinhard Storz), 2017. Inv. No. S0027.
Artwork Link:
Artist Website:

collectif_fact, Circus, 2004, screenshot
collectif_fact, Circus, 2004, screenshot
collectif_fact, Circus, 2004, screenshot
collectif_fact, Circus, 2004, screenshot
collectif_fact, Circus, 2004, installation view

The video installation Circus lives from the tension between the simple, static recording of images using digital photography, and their technically high-quality animation. Against an undefined black ground, various micro-scenarios of the eponymous plaza in Geneva float in and out of view, as the different components expand into numerous layers. Thus the logo of a bread bag lying scrunched on the ground is detached and unfolded in three dimensions together with the grease stains that have formed on the bag. Or the touchtone pad of a public telephone detaches itself from the apparatus, or the pedestrian stripes on a street detach from the pavement. The fluid dissection of an everyday object – normally seen as a whole – into its individual layers is diametrically opposed to the constantly subsuming, unitary perception of everyday life. On our own, we can never perceive the form of the greasy stains on the bag the way the artists show it to us. With reference to the hyperreal aesthetics of animated architectural models, the public square is peeled down sculpturally to the smallest of its pebbles and rendered impassable, due to the lack of coherence of the images. The surplus of information and lack of spatial contingency draw our attention to a prototypical public square in a 21st century Swiss city.

(Text: Bettina Back) 

Artist Bio

collectif_fact is  Annelore Schneider and Claude Piguet. They live and work in both London and Geneva.

Their projects, particularly videos, are often a deconstruction of what we perceive as cinematographic codes of our visual culture. collectif_fact are fascinated by the daily repetition, stereotypes and clichés from popular culture. They deal mostly with aspects of the(anti) spectacle, simulacra and appropriation. In order to accomplish this, they investigate the ways in which narration can be taken apart and restructured to form different stories and alternative meanings. Through the appropriation of cinematographic codes and strategies in their works, they encourage the observer to reflect critically on the habits that condition our perception of reality.

From 2002 to 2009 collectif_fact included also Swann Thommen.