I’m really drawn to the videos by Adad Hannah posted on Art21 recently. They look like photographs, except that the people posed in them are breathing, blinking, and rearranging their positions very slightly. In three of them, the models are interacting with, or recreating, well-known works of art. In the other two, I think the models are posed without referencing anything.
It feels like you’re watching something alive right in front of you, but the only possible thing that could be “living” is the image itself. It’s like the models are possessing the media, in the horror-film sense.
Hannah says in the Art21 post, “I don’t think viewers of my work are directed towards thinking so much about technology as they are led to think about mediation done through technology.” It may seem almost like the viewer has transcended the media and is “right there with” something alive in the physical world, but like in our favorite pulpy stories about demon possession, it’s not the same at all. Hannah’s work seems to be elevating a sense of mystery.
Art21 has a lot of interesting things to say about what Hannah is doing, and the other videos are also great.