SCREEN: CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs by Liv Schulman

Artist: Liv Schulman

Title: CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs

Curated by: Ana Iwataki and Marion Vasseur Raluy

Text by: Keith J. Varadi

Screening: December 27, 2017 – January 14, 2018

Year: 2016

Duration: 7’19”

An awkwardly dapper man, who resembles that of a peculiar period piece character, strolls around a shipyard. He has a strange cinematic aesthetic, spinning numerous shady stereotypes. At first glance, he could be a spook or a stocks and bonds guy. But as the camera zooms in on the details of his appearance, he looks more like a low-level member of an organized crime syndicate. The connotations associated with his attire and demeanor make one suspicious of his message, almost immediately. And straight out the gate, he begins riffing on piracy and telecommunication. Next, he moves on to slavery and neoliberalism. According to him, slavery is a transnational system of frictions and misunderstandings. Like the others, he has a secret: Colonialism never existed. He unwraps a bundle he had previously been stroking while lying on the ground. Hidden under a fabric material of some kind is a bucket, a brick, some ropes tied together, and the same movie posters our female protagonist rubbed against—this guy tosses the posters aside and instead focuses on the ropes. “True resistance is in submission,” he says. He lists off designer products and states, “The secret of original things is that they never were such” and “Periphery loves being considered as the center, but nobody knows it.” He then rubs the ropes against his face and body some more and eventually sniffs a handle-less broom. Next, he kisses and sucks an anchor that has been stick-and-poked onto pale skin. Why? Who cares? Ah! He smokes, too. We learn this right before he says a body is the way to slavery. In his words, a man can die a slave, but cannot die a coward. What does this even mean? Most men die cowards; and in all likelihood, this man will, as well. Randomly, he brings up Picasso, Duchamp, Mondrian, and Modigliani, stating that their real value could never be proven, but their peripheral value could be. Again, why? What is real value in this context at the shipyard? What is peripheral? Who are the pirates? He surely is not being literal. Then again, he cannot be speaking in metaphors, either. He’s not actually trying to make a point or convince us of anything. The other characters had conviction; we could believe that they themselves believed what it was they were projecting. This slimy seducer strings together sentences that sound like regurgitated versions of Bob Dylan’s twisted truisms, as spoken at a university dormitory. Regardless, all experiences, including this enslaved exercise, are valuable. That is to say, trying to stick with this guy’s half-baked musings is like going to a random pawn shop, only to walk back out with what you first brought in—you still learn something, regardless of whether your new knowledge is real or peripheral. Because, after all, what is ultimately real and what is peripheral? And what does it matter, anyways?

Liv Schulman is an Argentinean artist who lives and works in France. She studied art and art writing at the ENAPC in Paris, Goldsmiths University in London and the UTDT ini Buenos Aires. She took part in the Biennale de Rennes 2016 Incorporated !, (cur. François Piron), and in the series of exhibitions “Tes mains dans mes chaussures” at the Galerie, Centre d’art contemporain de Noisy–le-Sec in 2017 (cur. Vanessa Desclaux & Emilie Renard). She has exhibited her work in Copenhagen (“L’Obstruction”, a solo show at the sixtyeightartinstitute) and at Zoo Galerie (“The Night Shift”, a solos how) as well as many other places. She has also published two books with Tammy Metzler Publishing House and is the co-creator and editor in chief of the art writing newspaper El Flasherito.

Keith J. Varadi is a Los Angeles-based artist, writer, researcher, and curator. He has exhibited internationally and published widely. Recent projects include Death Becomes Him, a solo exhibition at Galerie Tobias Naehring in Leipzig, Germany and Liver, Loner, a group exhibition he organized at David Shelton Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 2 Episode 5 – Subs, 2016, video, 7’19” (video still)

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