Još malo erasure poetike: Disneyev Bambi iz kojeg su izrezane sve životinje.
As the title suggests, in Mastering Bambi (2010), Broersen & Lukács have re-created scenes from the 1942 Disney film Bambi, leaving out imagery of the famous deer and his assortment of animal friends. Their cinematic reconstruction is entirely scenic. Cascading waterfalls, towering trees and ominous skies evoke a pleasurable terror akin to romantic paintings of the sublime. The absence of any living creatures encourages us to see the details in the landscape. A fitting response to the current state of affairs, here nature becomes the central protagonist – a pristine and threatened environment at odds with a cruel, encroaching world.
Bambi: A Life in the Woods was written in 1923 by Austrian author and critic Felix Salten. Unlike Walt Disney, Salten depicts nature through a Darwinian lens. In this coming-of-age story that follows the life of a deer from birth to adulthood, the animal comes to understand both the cruel propensity of nature and the impending threat of the human hunter. Interpreted both as an homage to nature and a political allegory for the treatment of Jews in Europe at the time, the book was banned by the Nazi Party in 1936.
Disney’s interpretation of the story relied heavily on visuals to direct the narrative. At risk of being destroyed by civilisation and technology, Disney’s woods stand as a metaphor for a broader humanity, as well as a prophetic marker for today’s ecological predicament. Disney’s portrayal of nature is a romantic one, in which innocent animals can live in peaceful coexistence. In deconstructing and reconstructing Disney’s animation – set to an emotional soundtrack reworked from the original score – the artists provide us with a rehumanised version of the landscape, creating a space to reflect upon ourselves, our imaginings and our desires.
Broersen & Lukács create video pieces that incorporate filmed footage, digital animation and images appropriated from the media to explore the boundaries between fiction and reality in contemporary visual culture. The impact of news reports and mass media on our perception of the world is a theme that recurs throughout Broersen & Lukács’ oeuvre.
In Prime Time Paradise (2004) the artists link together still images collected from television news reports in a spatial collage that allows the viewer to traverse time and place. Gazing at the screen the viewer weightlessly flies through a constructed landscape that, though based in reality, is a realm of imagination. By removing the images from their original context, where they have already begun to lose their meaning through repetition, Broersen & Lukács create a space where new meanings and connections can be made.
Broersen & Lukács have worked as an artistic duo since they were students of graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in the 1990s. Their work has been shown in major international exhibitions, including ‘Hors Pistes’, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2012); ‘Cultured Nature’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2011); Experimenta Utopia Now International Biennial of Media Art, Melbourne and touring (2010–12); and ‘All that is Solid Melts into Air’, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (2009). Recent solo exhibitions of their work have been held at AKINCI, Amsterdam (2013); New Positions, Cologne (2012); Chinese European Art Center, Xiamen (2010); and Old Stone House, New York (2009).