ACMI Identifier
B1001994
Title
Versifier
Creator & Role
Gina Czarnecki, creator
Emma Crimmings, research manager
Place of Production
United Kingdom
Creation Date
1998
Language
English
Description
Gina Czarnecki's 'Versifier' places the viewer alone in a room with nine naked figures.
Varying in age, race and gender, 'Versifier's' pale figures are without identity or voice, like spectres of people with a hidden past that has occurred long before our arrival. Rearprojected onto a vast screen stretched like skin across the space, these human forms suggest early nineteenth-century museum exhibits: human specimens stripped of protective layers and preserved eternally in a captive vessel.

Currently heading the Electronic Imaging Department at the University of Dundee, Gina Czarnecki works at the intersection of film, video and computer-generated imagery. In describing 'Versifier' she explains, 'I have always loved the cinematic experience and came to realise that I wanted this in an installation environment. There is something about being in the dark in a public space that focuses your eyes and attention onto small details, sounds, people in the space with you or your inner thoughts and solitude.'

Once enclosed within Czarnecki's installation, the viewer focuses on the exposed
inhabitants. With its confronting interface, Versifier challenges notions of modesty,
candour, embarrassment, fascination. Experiences that we tend to take for granted are offered up for creepily clinical re-examination. Czarnecki has used digital technology to manipulate the figures into disquieting hybrid forms: skin tones are unusually monochromatic, limbs appear disproportionate and distended. The body itself - the medium through which we all experience the world - takes on disturbing new definitions inside the specimen room that is Versifier.

Czarnecki's mutant characters gesture forward to contemporary anxieties about the looming new frontier of genetic modification, manipulation and experimentation. But they also point backward to personal memories of vulnerability or exposure, and to communal memories of the Holocaust and genocide in which bodies were lined up and exposed in ways that were an affront to all accepted definitions of humanity. In fact, Czarnecki's disturbing yet beautiful parade calls into question everything - past, present and future - that makes us human in the most basic, naked way.
Audience Classification
M (15+)
G
Holdings
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
Digital Betacam [PAL]; Master
Digital Betacam [PAL]; Sub-master
VHS [PAL]; Reference - timecoded
VHS [PAL]; Preview Copy
DVD [PAL]; Copy
DVD [PAL]; Copy
DVD [PAL]; Copy
VHS [PAL]; Reference - timecoded
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy
DVD [PAL]; Exhibition Copy