Catch-22 is a video installation which describes a moment in which one wants to escape a specific, paradoxical situation but they cannot because of contradictions in their nature and their surrounding world that are out of their rational control. A friction between consciousness and the outer judgement and the subconsciousness.
A catch-22 is a dilemma, or difficult circumstance, from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting conditions. The term was coined by Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel by the same name. In it an army psychiatrist invokes it to explain why a pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity - hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape the war - demonstrates his sanity in creating the request and thus cannot be declared insane.
Catch-22 questions the situation we found ourselves in during the Covid-19 pandemic. Like a paradox artistic work was being produced by the whole cultural sector, but there were no possibilities of presenting the work for an audience. In Catch-22 Persona questions the status quo of maintaining this constant workflow but continuously clashing with different obstacles such as the various measurements. The installation is a continuous loop, we see people not being able to finish their action, as if they are stuck in motion. Stuck in time and space.
Catch-22 searches for our core identity. Often difficult to discover, or recognize, because of the countless layers of subconsciousness surrounding it. One finds themself stuck in a paradoxical unwilling acceptance.
The installation is connected with our general research the body as the manifestation of the identity and the previous works it encloses: looking into the identity of being.
The images that are used are taken from the cinematic dance work SKINNED. Due to Covid-19 the film wasn't finished at the time Catch-22 was presented for the first time. Within the context of the installation SKINNED is simultaneously a past and a future work. Material is being reused and given new meaning, while taken from a work that hasn't shared or established its own meaning yet. By changing the context Persona gives the images different identities.
Catch-22 is an intimate one-on-one experience where the viewer comes face to face with the freedom to seek their own core.
Pieter Desmet . Steffi Mennen
director of photography
Jonathan De Maeyer
with the support of
Stad Antwerpen . Platform In De Maak
KANAL Centre Pompidou Brussels . Noordoever . Kunstgrillen
still from Catch-22