Geska Helena Brečević & Robert Brečević

Geska Helena Brečević (born 1975) and Robert Brečević (born 1971) form the artist duo Performing Pictures, founded in 2004. The couple is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and on the island of Rab in Croatia. Performing Pictures’ works center around memory and movement, linking language and moving images in ways that often require a viewer’s response. Their expanding body of video, pinhole camera animations, cinéapparitions, and casual snapshots blurs the lines between media forms, between still and moving images, and between ephemerality and permanence. In 2020, their book A postliminal script and explanatory notes on a film called Dreaming the Memories of Now will be published.

The magician-as-artist stands apart from the magician-as-trickster inasmuch as the former’s intention to deceive is plainly acknowledged beforehand, and conclusively reaffirmed in hindsight

Discovered during a media-archeological investigation into optical illusions, trick photography, and discarded memorabilia, the photo-multigraph technique opened the door to an enchanted world of cloned appearances orbiting in a self-reflective solar system. Shapeshifting into our preferred artistic medium, this turn-of-the-century photographic technique becomes the video-multigraph. It is bizarrely noteworthy that self-isolation would become not only the subject of the piece, but also – due to the unforeseen spread of a recently mutated virus – the prevailing circumstances under which the work was to be completed. In Verfünfungseffekt, we use the medium of video to create a kaleidoscopic portrait-in-motion where the perspective-shifting shards of ego are recorded in a synchronized performance of solipsist intersubjectivity. The video-multigraph allows for the compositing of tiny offsets in time-shifting delays applied to one, or several, of the mirrored selves – shattering the cloned perfection, as well as the conformity, of the multiple presences. This optical illusion necessitates reflection on how media alters our perceptions of time and space; it thereby arouses wonder about our place in existence.

Keywords: Photo-multigraph, fivefold-portrait, mirror photography, video-multigraph, crisis of presence


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