• Museum of Desires: Claire Hooper

    Date posted: December 26, 2011 Author: jolanta

    Claire Hooper is the winner of the 2010 Baloise Art Prize. At mumok she is presenting her prize-winning video Video Nyx (2010), as part of a trilogy which also includes two works from 2011, Aoide and Eris. In her films, the British artist (born 1978) interweaves narratives from the present with characters and concepts from Greek mythology. These become elements of a kaleidoscopic mélange of reality and fiction, in which Hooper, in the manner of a Nouveau Roman, also dispenses with the linear succession of past, present and future.

    “She herself became pregnant at the age of 15, and her first son was listed as at risk by the social department even before he was born.”

     

    Claire Hooper, Nyx, 2010. Filmstill. Photo Credit: Claire Hooper

     

    Museum of Desires: Claire Hooper
    Eva Badura-Triska

    Claire Hooper is the winner of the 2010 Baloise Art Prize. At mumok she is presenting her prize-winning video Video Nyx (2010), as part of a trilogy which also includes two works from 2011, Aoide and Eris. In her films, the British artist (born 1978) interweaves narratives from the present with characters and concepts from Greek mythology. These become elements of a kaleidoscopic mélange of reality and fiction, in which Hooper, in the manner of a Nouveau Roman, also dispenses with the linear succession of past, present and future.

Nyx, named after the goddess of the night, takes its viewers on the psychedelic journey of the young man Furat. He cannot understand why he is intoxicated after ‘just two beers’, and his nocturnal U-Bahn journey home turns into a trip through the underworld. The film is set in the stations of U-Bahn line 7, designed by Rainer Rümmler between 1971 and 1984, along the route between Neukölln, the Turkish neighbourhood of Berlin – and Spandau.

    Hooper had already filmed the imaginative architecture of these underground stations with their many art deco and oriental style details in 2008 in her video Nach Spandau, where she almost voyeuristically pictured the stations one by one at night and mainly empty. In Nyx they become the scene of Furat’s journey, which begins with an encounter with Thanatos, the god of peaceful death, his twin brother Hypnos, the god of sleep, and the latter’s wife Pasithea, goddess of hallucination.

A non-linear interweaving of the present and memory, as the basis of a construction of a past and history, is also a feature of Aoide, named after the muse of the finished poem. The film was made in 2011 in and for the Munich exhibition space Lothringer_13, in which in 1981 Claire’s father, the painter John Hooper, had shown his geometrical abstract paintings, as one of nine English painters in a group show. For her own presentation in the same place, his daughter had her father’s pictures brought back there and staged their hanging as a way of examining her own past and also that of her father and the art gallery.

With Eris, goddess of strife and discord, Hooper includes in her most recent film a character who had already appeared in Nyx. The framework this time is the story of Danielle, who was a child of very young parents who were living in a children’s home when she was born. She herself became pregnant at the age of 15, and her first son was listed as at risk by the social department even before he was born. The mother’s struggle for custody of her son poses the question as to the possibilities of self-determination in the entanglement of fate, embodied here by social workers.

Two of these works are donated to the mumok collection by Baloise.


     


     

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