Untitled (The Remake), 2007, HDV transferred on Bluray, 13 minutes.

Untitled (The Remake) combines archival footage from the years of the 1967-1973 military dictatorship in Greece which depicts official festivities and parades staged by the Colonels (replete with the ‘obligatory’ nationalistic visual rhetoric harking back to Greece’s glorious past), with Tsivopoulos’ own video footage; the latter constitutes the core of the film. For this work, the artist re-constructed a television studio of the late 1960s, complete with all the original technical equipment that was used during this period; it was during this time that National Greek Television and Radio were also established. In the film, actors are cast in the role of two newscasters – one male, one female, dressed in the fashion of the day –  and a cameraman, whom we can see preparing for the daily bulletin. In the background, television monitors show international news footage of the day, and original black-and-white footage depicting the real newscasters from that time preparing for the broadcast that Tsivopoulos has painstakingly re-constructed. Apart from mirroring the act of representation and that represented, and exposing the technical processes involved in the re-construction of reality, what is particularly interesting in Untitled (The Remake) is the co-existence of different modalities of time, the constant interplay between reality and its re-construction, and finally the sense of temporal displacement that dictates the work’s ‘mood’. In that sense, Tsivopoulos’ work shares some of the same key concerns with that of the Canadian artist Stan Douglas, who has become known for creating complex, shifting time frames and elusive parallel levels of narration in his film and video works.

Untitled (The Remake) retrieves forgotten master narratives, reminding us of how television was used for propaganda purposes by the state (it still is, no doubt, only the methods have become much more subtle, and private enterprise has also entered the field), while highlighting the aesthetics and ultra-nationalist ideological clichés of the dictatorship era to question their meaning today. Untitled (The Remake) thus also invites us to reflect on the development of television media and the changes wrought in the field of broadcast news in the ensuing period, as well as their increasingly dominant role in the mediation of reality and the shaping of people’s consciousness. In addition, it pinpoints the rupture that occurs between an original televised image and its interpretation – embedded both in the artist’s work and the viewer’s mind – as well as reflecting on the idea of involuntary as well as mediated cultural memory. 

Extract from Katerina Gregos' text Past Imperfect, included in the catalogue

Stefanos Tsivopoulos - The Real The Story The Storyteller