Video installation, 6:26 min, DVD, Monitor, 2001

Thanks to Nita Tandon

A crystalline structure drifts past slowly and soundlessly – rather like some celestial body gliding through space. It is composed of a large number of connected, transparent bubbles, filled with air. The contemplation, into which the viewer inevitably lapses, is suddenly disrupted when the construct threatens, piece by piece, to collapse.

In the video installation tensiontest Julia Willms builds up an air of expection through restraint, reduction, and slowing down, leaving us waiting for the next cell to burst. Our gaze becomes immersed in the process of tension within this fragile system, which inevitably causes its dissolution.

tensiontest describes an arc of suspense, which has no semantic context but is based on the concept of predictability. The act of observing dissolves into an emotional reaction, arising from the subjective certainty that the expected is about to happen. It is along the interfaces between the finite and infinite, construction and deconstruction, and reception and confusion that the process of perception is intensified and made conscious.

(Birgit Rinagl)


- Space Affaires | Raumaffairen | Affaries d’espace, MUSA, Wien, Austria, 2012
- A World, Gallery Obrist, Essen, Germany, 2013

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