Karina Smigla-Bobinski – “I am talking about a complex world.”

Karina Smigla-Bobinski standing next to her interactive video installation SIMULACRA, MoTA Museum of Transitory Art, Ljubljana, 2013.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski standing next to her interactive video installation SIMULACRA, MoTA Museum of Transitory Art, Ljubljana, 2013.

A whole presence of a person with his/her forms of interaction, strengths and weaknesses, also stands at the centre of the video ROUTES (2002, Video). A face made up of drops of water simultaneously emerging, distorting and flowing into one another is looking more inside itself than at the viewer: it symbolises isolation and the fruitless nature of passing life. Its different states make it a metaphor for the plurality inherent in individuals and all the different roles in a person’s daily life. Karina Smigla-Bobinski not only thematises aspects of a philosophy of being but, by using the artistic techniques of video and other different forms of presentation, involves her viewers in a discussion about people’s social status.

The role of individuals over and against other people is thematised in the interactive video installation ALIAS (2004, ill. 6). Here visitors stand in front of running projectors to throw a shadow on a white wall: within the white wall can be seen life-size video projections of other people, mostly of other origins and nationality. Just as in Plato’s “parable of the cave” the projection surface becomes an object of discussion about one’s own reality, whereas the projections of the visitors’ shadows throw up questions about their relationship to other people.

The techniques of the artist are just as ephemeral as the expressions of life they document: video and slide projections are as ephemeral as the places in which they take place: images for performances on stage and situations created in public spaces. In 2000 she began work on a video set for a dance performance entitled SEE AND BE SCENE - A CATWALK BANQUET (ill. 4), that was created over a number of years. The show was directed by Helena Waldmann and based on motifs from the novel “Glamorama” by Bret Easton Ellis. Here three female Japanese dancers play out a drama of vanities on a catwalk. Karina Smigla-Bobinski projects their faces, mirrored in drops of water, on a screen hanging 6 metres above the stage. The performers wait for the drops of water to explode with the “horrified expression of prisoners shortly before their execution”, until the drop of water dissolves itself into a trickle. Once again the viewers are involved for they can only see the projection with the help of mirrors. 

Mediathek
  • ADA, 2011

    An analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.
  • ROUTEN, 2002

    ROUTES, 2002. Single channel video.
  • DREAM JOURNEY, 2002

    DREAM JOURNEY, 2002. Single channel video, 25 mins. Copyright: Karina Smigla-Bobinski
  • WORMHOLE, 2008

    A video installation in a public space. Steel construction, glass, video, monitor, DVD player. Ø = 100 cm, H = 110 cm. Copyright: Karina Smigla-Bobinski.
  • SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation.

    ill. 1a: SILVER SALT, 1999

    SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation, photos, plexiglass, earth.
  • SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation.

    ill. 1b: SILVER SALT, 1999

    SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation, photos, plexiglass, earth.
  • EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor.

    ill. 2a: EMERGING, 1999

    EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor, ca. 30 x 40 cm.
  • EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor.

    ill. 2b: EMERGING, 1999

    EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor, ca. 30 x 40 cm.
  • DREAM JOURNEY, 2002. Single channel video, 25 mins.

    ill. 3: DREAM JOURNEY, 2002

    DREAM JOURNEY, 2002. Single channel video, 25 mins. Premiere 2002 (see video).
  • A CATWALK BANQUET, 2000. Video stage design for a dance performance.

    ill. 4: SEE AND BE SCENE, 2000

    A CATWALK BANQUET, 2000. Video stage design for a dance performance. Premiere: Haus der deutschen Wirtschaft, Berlin 2000.
  • ISLANDS, 2004. A light and slide installation.

    ill. 5: ISLANDS, 2004

    ISLANDS, 2004. A light and slide installation. Premiere: Olympic Park, Munich, 2004.
  • ALIAS, 2004. An interactive video installation.

    ill. 6: ALIAS, 2004

    ALIAS, 2004. An interactive video installation. Premiere: 2004 (Winner of the Bremen Promotion Prize for Video Art, 2003).
  • 7 METRES, 2005. A room installation. Wire mesh fence, barbed wire, clothing. 300 x 300 cm.

    ill. 7: 7 METRES, 2005

    7 METRES, 2005. A room installation. Wire mesh fence, barbed wire, clothing. 300 x 300 cm, Premiere: Galeria Edgar Neville, Valencia 2005.
  • RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector.

    ill. 8a: RETURN TO SENDER, 2006

    RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector. The Montpellier Dance Festival 2006.
  • RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector.

    ill. 8b: RETURN TO SENDER, 2006

    RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector. Premiere: the Montpellier Dance Festival 2006 (Detail).
  • DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide.

    ill. 9a: DEEP TREE, 2008

    DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide. Premiere at the City of Sculpture project in Mérida/Yucatán 2008.
  • DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide.

    ill. 9b: DEEP TREE, 2008

    DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide. Premiere at the City of Sculpture project in Mérida/Yucatán 2008 (Detail).
  • QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. PVC balloon, helium, Ø = 200 cm high = 400 cm.

    ill. 10a: QUERY, 2009

    QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. PVC balloon, helium, Ø = 200 cm high = 400 cm. Premiere: St. Luke’s Church, Munich 2009.
  • QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. St. Luke’s Church, Munich 2009.

    ill. 10b: QUERY, 2009

    QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. St. Luke’s Church, Munich 2009.
  • QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project, 2009.

    ill. 10c: QUERY, 2009

    QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project, 2009.
  • ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.

    ill. 11a: ADA, 2011

    ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.
  • ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.

    ill. 11b: ADA, 2011

    ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.
  • SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation.

    ill. 12a: SIMULACRA, 2013

    SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation.
  • SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).

    ill. 12b: SIMULACRA, 2013

    SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).
  • SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).

    ill. 12c. SIMULACRA, 2013

    SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).
  • CONE, 2013. A sound installation.

    ill. 13: CONE, 2013

    CONE, 2013. A sound installation.Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Centre, Istanbul 2013.
  • MORNING STAR, 2013. A sculptural installation made out of arrows.

    ill. 14: MORNING STAR, 2013

    MORNING STAR, 2013. A sculptural installation made out of arrows, Ø = 200 cm.