Martin Kohout, ‘Sjezd’ (2014) video

4 March 2015

The Czech word, ‘sjezd’ can mean many things. It could describe congress, a conference, perhaps a ride or a trip of some sort, but it’s often political and sometimes going down. Whatever it means it doesn’t quite translate, in all its complexity, to English. It’s a word that Berlin-based artist Martin Kohout chose to name his recent exhibition and video, recently shown at etc. gallery in Prague from December 11 to January 12, where he presented a single-channel video at high volume featuring a phone being dragged across surfaces of tourist spots in Ticino, Switzerland. Its names is inspired by the banal titling of skate videos and it carries through the same scratchy close-ups of metal hitting metal that these videos often show, the silhouette of the film maker only sometimes being seen. Looking, interfering.

‘Sjezd’ (2014) does a similiar thing, only Kohout’s own TOLE project is soundtracking, the urgent, endless, accelerating progress of this six-plus ‘skating’ video, as well as Jahmiga’s swaying track ‘Whiskey Bar‘, while a radio stream intercepts across feeds with “radio global warming”. It’s an expression of an inanimate object that’s animated into a visual-cum-physical experience that Kohout describes as “a continuous scrolling online and watching a movie after a movie, clip after a clip, endlessly”.

To add another dimension to this inter-spatial piece of art that once presented ‘live’ at etc. gallery, Kohout – along with coding help from artist Claire Tolan – presents its online manifestation you can access through the linked images below (watch full-scale, and listen loud), as well as an accompanying text written for its launch on aqnb. It takes words and their meaning beyond being just a symbol of representation and into being a form and subject all its own. **

Click below to watch the video:

[the newsreel excerpt transcript train ride free stuff {try this on computer speech}]

(1 )
Smtms Eye vvache-vp on-D—fleye, fallin. [F]
Hndrts off cumras nrturng meye suft sk?n. [U]
Tralala____daydaa__dyda_seeayaa [C]
( Brdß chrpn, migr8tng ‘whe-ever’. ) [K] 

[ altos, country ]
Dhis khakki gu?. [G]
[ bar, deep doom choir [O] chemistry ]
Mvng inn 25FPS. [G]
Tlkng inn 128kb!p!s. [E]
R-Ee)(dng inn 50M!B!p.l. [L]
Knovving thouse shit and chaos. 

{ [ now, all together now ] } * echo(3,4,6,12, 36, 216 )

– but sudden+ly —

[ bjürk && (clant eastweed / phul elvyrum) duet ! ]
Right into black waters.
A golf car spins over the cliff of ice.
Following a bunch of horses. — Some witty a ribbon. 

(8 )
25F!P!S. AM brthng.
H.264 D pttrn off meye poor_S.
{ NØW! Dt’s wheye! Dt’s wheye! } * 3.45 

—— 1kbps pause —— [N]
—— 3kbps lunch bite —— [O]
—— 0.7kbps smoke or smog —— [S]
—— 3mbps spam and soya sooose —— [E]
—— 1kbps pleause —— 

(4 )
Eye Jst saya IT onse ‘nd fr L.A.st teyeme: Sht-vp ‘nd ride!
( now. cut to a black billiard ball in a corner of a butcher’s house ) / 0

Martin Kohout’s Sjezd solo exhibition was on at Czech’s etc. gallery, running December 11 to January 12, 2015.

Header image: Martin Kohout, Sjezd (2014-2015) @ etc. gallery. Exhibition view. Courtesy the artist.


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