Peter Campus

Three Transitions

1973

Werk - Three Transitions
Artist / Artist group
Peter Campus
Title
Three Transitions
Year
1973
Category
video, Analog video
Material / Technique
Betacam SP, color, mono
Dimensions / Duration
00:04:53
Contributors
Collection
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien
Description

The video »Three Transitions« consists of performative self-portraits. Peter Campus begins with a scene that shows him from behind in front of a wall of yellow paper. First, a knife seems to cut his back with a straight cut, then a hand reaches through this gap, and finally, at the moment Campus leans forward, his head and then his entire body pushes through the opening. This effect is made possible by superimposing the images from two cameras, one filming the front and the other the back of the paper wall.

In the following sequences, Campus uses the chroma key effect, which usually involves using blue or green color to create a blank space in the video image that can be filled by other video footage. In the second sequence of »Three Transitions«, Campus makes his face disappear by applying blue paint to his skin. His face suddenly seems to be a mask behind which another self appears. However, this expectation is disappointed. Instead of another face, the artist’s face simply appears again. In the third sequence, Campus sets fire to a piece of paper that shows a video recording of his face which slowly burns.

Oscillating between disturbing depictions of self-destruction and humorous playfulness, the artist experiments with the perceptual habits of the viewer and points to the constructed nature of reality in the medium of video.

Author: Margit Rosen

About the artist/s