Based in London
David Blandy’s short videos are adapted from famous landscapes by the 19th century German romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich. Into these ‘living paintings’ he inserts a pixelated male figure – the artist’s alter-ego.
With a melancholy soundtrack playing the background, the solitary figure wanders through Friedrich’s haunting landscapes, amid ruins and ice, through misty mountains, and past a shipwreck on a beach.
The videos remind us that we exist in a fundamentally altered reality; we are immersed to an ever-growing degree in a digitally mediated world, where we have become estranged from nature and have perhaps lost our faith in originality and authenticity. Old-world ideologies no longer have a place in the contemporary age.
Computer game backdrops
Blandy mines his material from a variety of personally relevant cultural sources, from hip hop and soul music to computer games.
An avid player of computer games back in his student days, Blandy noticed a similarity between Friedrich’s landscapes and the backdrops of computer games. In his videos, Blandy transforms Friedrich’s sublime landscapes into virtual battlegrounds.
Instead of portraying fighting, however, the videos convey a sense of melancholy, loneliness and loss.
The work was originally commissioned by Daata Editions.