Sookoon Ang
John Arndt
Backbreakerneckbrace
Elisabetta Benassi
Wolfgang Berkowski
Johanna Billing
Brian Block
Opie Boero-Imwinkelried
Daniel Bozhkov
Lasse Brandt
aka Bosse Sudenburg

Sarra Brill
Thomas M. Callori
Rob Carter
Anetta Mona Chisa
Suzy Cho
William Cobbing
Tyler Coburn
Patricia Cronin
Keren Cytter
Jen DeNike
Robert Ladislas Derr
Stanislao Di Giugno
Ra di Martino
Honoré d'O
Steven Eastwood
Chris Ernst
Billy Erhard
Mariana Ferratto
Oriana Fox
Rainer Ganahl
Jean-Baptiste Ganne
Mario Garcia Torres
Emil Goh
Goldiechiari
Dara Greenwald
Vincent Grenier
Jesper Just
Rob Johannesma
John Kelly
Jeroen Kooijmans
William Lamson
Penny Lane

Sandra Eula Lee
Jochen Lempert
Jason Livingston
Jennifer Locke
Giuliano Lombardo
Marie Losier
Mary Magsamen
& Stephen Hillerbrand

Giulia Mainenti
Kristine Marx
Tara Mateik
Ursula Mayer
Jacopo Miliani
Franklin Miller
Vincenzo Mistretta
Liana Miuccio
Joshua Mosley
Willett Moss
Shana Moulton
Lydia Moyer
Jeremy Newman
New Humans
Nicedisc
Olaf Nicolai
Dan Oki
Joao Onofre
Jimmy Owenns
Arzu Ozkal Telhan
Jose Parral
Sarah Paul
Julie Perini
Rosalind Peters
PH.ON
Alessandro Piangiamore
Cesare Pietroiusti
Frederic Post
Gunter Puller
Marco Raparelli
Alia Raza
Asad Raza
Jack Riccobono
G. Alan Rhodes
Manuel Saiz
Alessandro Sarra
Corrado Sassi
Mathew Sawyer
Jennifer Schmidt
Guendalina Salini
Cigdem Slankard
Claudia Sohrens
Mirjam Somers
Nomi Talisman
Jennet Thomas
Jennie Thwing
Lucia Tkacova
Nathan Townes-Anderson
Thomas Tsang
Ken Ueno
Guido van der Werve
Marcella Vanzo
Nico Vascellari
Luca Vitone
Clemens von Wedemeyer
Patrick Ward
Julita Wojcik
Emiliano Zelada
ZimmerFrei
Sarah Zwerling

Bicycling Damascus
2004, 90 min. (video, color, sound)

Bicycling Damascus is my second video - after Bicycling Tirana - for which I visit a city with a bicycle. I bicycle against the traffic while filming without holding the steering wheel. I drive for 90 minutes around this ancient city filming directly across the steering wheel thus rendering it into cross hairs. This brings me through a variety of different neighborhoods and places that give a cityscape quite surprising to see. This risky and unlawful engagement with the bicycle, the city and my camera creates an anti-gravitational epic of traffic jams, busy people and a colorful middle eastern street live in a country, the US State Department considers to be involved with terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
(Syria indeed does have very bad human right reports and still has to come to terms with the massacre of Hama, a rebellious city where president Assad ordered 1982 the killing of around 40.000 inhabitants.)
The bicycle is not only my unique vehicle of transportation but also my urban eyeglass - some extension of my visual and acoustic organs. As such it is a real social urban interface. I'm a bicycle rider since early childhood. My first birthday present I remember was a bicycle. I have never stayed in a place for long without a bicycle, including in Tokyo where I was harassed daily by the police for riding a bicycle. (I was considered a bicycle thief).

The bicycle I used in Damascus was lent to me. I hired it for half the price of a new Syrian bicycle. The bicycle was lent to me by a tailor. Syria has a beautiful domestic bicycle production. They all look the same but don't even function as new one's in the shop. The more useable bicycles are now imported from China. (I hope I don't offend anybody with my comment but unfortunately, that was my experience: Ii fell in love with the local 'every body the same bicycle' but I came to understand that it was nearly impossible to ride them, nothing functioned properly - that kept me from buying one, from exporting one)
A part from this lousy = expensive = lending practice, the bicycle lent to me was very bad. Not only did it have barely any breaks but also, the bicycle was shaking to the point of ...me falling off. It took me about one hour to get used to it. Riding without holding the steering wheel requires a bicycle that is stable and predictable, in particular if one drives dangerously.
This bicycle was shaking nonstop and performed quite dangerously. I had a couple of quasi-accidents and falloffs.
In the end I survived.



From The Guggenheim To MOMA Bicycling - Two Straight Lines
2006, 12 min. (video, color, sound)
This video is shot with a long (quasi 5 meter long) stick to which I attached the camera. I film myself from above holding the rather very heavy camera stick riding mostly without holding the steering wheel. The route is from the Guggenheim Museum to the MOMA in NYC, i.e. from 89th street on Fifth Avenue to 53rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. I filmed around 4 pm on a very hot Friday during a record setting heat wave.

Given the fact that the stick with the camera was very heavy and long I encountered several problems. First I hit trees which already made me almost fall from my bike but also - at one point - I lost control over the camera stick and it crashed on the floor - damaging the camera. It was quite difficult to navigate because apart from driving without (mostly) holding hte steering wheel I had to balance the stick, a stick I couldn't properly hold when falling over, something that could easily affect my control while riding between cars in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

This is part of my video follies I have been engaging in for the last 5 years. I am delighted by the exotic views it creates, the relative danger the filming comes with and the city and its crazy traffic as a play ground wiht tons of trafffic rules to violate. I also love to make a statement on using bicycles instead of cars - needing less fossile fuels for which we are fighting wars. Thinking about the intrinsic narcisism of video the camera serves here as a telescopic eye (or I or ego) as a suspended seeing machine - and couldn't I see myself quasi crashing? (only the camera crashed) or waiting for a bigger crash?? Last but not least, there is currently a Dada show at Moma showing Duchamps Bicycle chair to which this video could be dedicated.


A Bold Line - Back and Forth - Bicycling Madison Avenue
2006, 5:47 min. (video, color, sound)
In this video I try to strictly "follow the line" and bicycle the bold line that devides the bus lane from the regular one on Madison Avenue between 42nd and 59th street, a one way street. The camera is suspended on a metal stick of about 4 meters, a rather heavy item that makes it difficult to balance while riding (50% against traffic) mostly without holdilng the stearing wheel. This performative video comes with a good bit of danger since the unusual side wind and the heavy stick make me rather unstable towards the unpittable Madison Avenue Friday early afternoon traffic.. But due to the limited camera view the street danger is less visible than in other bicycling pieces where I also film against the confronting traffic. This creates a certain discrepancy between a rather scary bicycle/filming performance and the telescopic visual result fixated to a flying horse view.

I also wasn't stopped by a surprised police car, though they were passing me on my return against traffic - visible slightly on one still image. The suspended camera mimiks somehow the many regulatory police views accross cities as well as the antenna of mobile news stations. It also produces some poetic bird perspective with unusual images of the city and me navigationg common waters in strange ways. Last but not least, I love modernism (footnoting a legacy by bike away from the desk top) and its obsessions with streight lines and grids - manifest also in my early works with communicational (digital) interfaces. Street lines are interfacing traffic and regulate our behavior. Reading the city practically against its grain is exciting and demands quite some acrobatic discipline and courage (or reckless madness - if you want to accuse me as some people do) to surpress common sense usage.

PS: I got two interesting comments: somebody called it "mad" .. which makes me think "mad on madison"; and another friend, Adrian Notz, told me that the camera extension stick reminded him of a painting brush drawing the line while bicyclling. my own after-thoughts - while on the bike / always the best time for thinking - go a bit along the modernist line of the famous inversed bicycle wheel on a chair, still on show just 2 blocks from where I performed. the camera substitutes for the chair since it is the replacement of the beholder usually sitting on a chair. so somehow one has to imagine Duchamps' piece again hitting the road. the hight melts the two wheeler into a mono wheel. (mad?)

ps
: interesting observation by Carly Busta: "the stripe abstracts the space. as though it was marker on a film reel, and the perspective makes it seem as though you are this singular man in a very large world running like a hovercraft above it. the space created is bizarre and it almost feels like a structural film or something."

Program 25 : 08 apr 06
OVP at the American Academy
OVP at NETWERK
OVP at MUDIMA
OVP at Pesaro Film Festival

 

RAINER GANAHL (AU / USA)

www.ganahl.info

SHORT CV

Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, in 1990-1991

Master Academy Düsseldorf (Nam June Paik) 1990

Master of Philosophy and History, University of Innsbruck.

Lives and works in NYC since 1990

RECENT EXHIBITIONS: include The Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University Museum, New York ; Museum of Modern Art, MUMOK, Vienna; Baumgartner Gallery, New York; The Jewish Museum, New York; Momenta Art, New York; Kunstverrein Frankfurt, and Venice Biennial.

A SELECTION OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS:
William Kaizen, "Please, teach me..." Rainer Ganahl and the Politics of Learning, Wallach Art Gallery , Columbia University, New York 2005

Rainer Ganahl (ed.), MONEY AND DREAMS: COUNTING THE LAST DAYS OF THE SIGMUND FREUD BANKNOTE, Putnam, CT: Spring Publications, New York, 2005

Rainer Ganahl, Road to War, MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Vienna), and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, 2005

Rainer Ganahl, NEXT TARGET - Versteinerte Politik / Petrified Politics, GAK (Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen), and Revolver, Frankfurt, 2004

Rainer Ganahl, Please, write your opinons of U.S. politics..., onestarpress, Paris, 2003

Rainer Ganahl, lueneburger-heide-sprechen, revolver, Frankfurt 2003

Rainer Ganahl, Reading Karl Marx, Book Works, London, 2001