installationview Sint-Lukas galerij, Brussels "Digital Poetics" , 2008
THE SPIDER AND HER WEB
No home like space. That is the message with a hidden meaning from Lisa Jeannin’s video with the same name which is also the title. A spider moves through her self woven web while doing household activities such as cooking, grating cheese, watering a plant, watching television, making music and typing texts. Pendulous objects are being moved and manipulated. We recognize among other things a guitar and an amplifier, a watering pot, a cooking pot, a rasp, pieces of cheese and a compass. The use of animation techniques makes these activities seem fairy-like simple but with Jeannin each and every one of them is a metaphor for a broader reference framework in time and space. The second message with a hidden meaning that has been typed in reads after all “Lately I have been travelling in time”. There is more going on here than just the story of a sympathetic spider.
The painting, the guitar, the typewriter and the musicians on television refer to the artist’s position as does the web that the insect itself is weaving. The cobweb can be spun out endlessly; all the same it is a territory. The fanciful walking pattern of the animal is no stranger to the web architecture. The spider draws inspiration from other spaces and times. The stratification of the threads is put consciously on the screen. The cobweb has a nomadic structure that can be moved to other places and can take up other positions. Its female inhabitant contemplates the world from a pendulous position. That other dimension produces a profoundly different look on the same reality, of which a normal two-footer has little understanding. Because of this experiencing time and space happens in a completely different way. At the same time, the spider is caught in her own web and she is part of the events she herself disentangles. This temporary lodging shows itself as a very vulnerable structure constantly subject to changes.
The medium animation not only maintains a distance from the activities but also draws the maker (and the viewer) into the narrative structure. The graphic style strongly resembles the naïve atmosphere of the early movies. Clownish musicians from days long gone parade on the television screen, the typewriter seems just as archaic. The spider herself watches her stories on television and provides them with philosophic comments on the typewriter. In between she plunks the guitar with the soundtrack for the movie while the pendulous painting reflects the environment. The animation brings into vision the daily life of a spider/artist, her need for food and a shelter. No home like space is an emblematic work representing Jeannin’s position as an artist. In her video installations she usually wields different levels of observation both on and of screen which makes the steady position of not only viewer and artist but also of the subjects waver. The different themes and media, the production process and the observer’s position are all interwoven as in one big cobweb.