The Magic of Projection: Augmentation and Immersion in Media Art
Sophie Ernst’s doctoral thesis is an artist’s contribution to media art theory. It focusses on the role of projection as material for sculpture. She considers projections to be either immersive, like a cinematic experience, or augmentative, in the sense of a mixed reality. Immersion is the dominant mode in projection art and large parts of the theoretical discourse. It presuppose a willing suspension of disbelief. Augmentation, on the other hand, can be seen as ‘magical’. Augmentation is a technique in art to ‘make strange’ by creating a distance. This ‚making strange‘ can be either pleasant or unsettling. Ernst argues that augmenting projections are persuasive, not because they are materially ‘real’, but rather since they make visible what we could imagine as real.
Sophie Ernst: Works
Catalogue raisonné gives an overview of projection works from 2000 to 2016.
HOME: Architecture of Memory
Exhibition catalogue (17.03. – 01.07. 2012, Yorkshire Sculpture Park). Essays by Helen Pheby, Iftikhar Dadi, Taha Mehmood and Sophie Ernst. With glossary and index. Photos: Felix Krebs.
In 2012, YSP presented the first solo exhibition in the UK by Sophie Ernst. HOME is an ongoing project dealing with ideas such as individual memories, ideal places and belonging. Ernst interviewed people forced to leave their homes due to political upheaval such as the Partition of South Asia in 1947. Video documentations of the conversations were projected onto architectural models. We can see the person’s hands drawing out their memory of a place or building, thus transforming the inanimate object into a virtually inhabited space, and ascribing a profound intimacy.
Exhibition catalogue (15.10. – 19.11. 2004, Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke, München; 05. 02. – 26. 02. 2004, Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik, Berlin). Essays by Luca Giuliani and Quddus Mirza. Photos: Felix Krebs.
In the exhibition Lovedolls video artist Sophie Ernst confronted ‚classic art‘ with media technology. Since the classicism of the 18th and 19th centuries, the white, antique statues of a humanistically educated and classicist oriented audience were above all the epitome of moderation and beauty. Today many people find this ideal of beauty and measure pale, lifeless, and dusty. It seems that the time has come to look at the familiar incunabula with new eyes. Sophie Ernst uses the casts of ancient statues as a projection screens for videos. The sculptures are carefully explored; they are never a neutral background, but are taken seriously in their independent meanings. That is why the works of Sophie Ernst open our eyes to something that could be contained in the ancient statues themselves. The statues, after exposing themselves to the flickering of the videos, will indeed be viewed with a new and sharpened gaze.
Publisher: Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke
(München, D), 2004
Language: English and German