Dan Starling WORKS VIDEOS CV ARTIST BOOKS PRESS  
 
Sans Sans Soleil, 2018  
1hr20min  
 

The video and related drawings Sans Sans Soleil (2018) present a series of documentary images of people in Vancouver. Comprised of two types, images of crowds and images of solitary individuals, the work charts a day from noon to midnight. The work continues Starling’s interest in narrative and began as an attempted remake using the form of Chris Marker’s film.

The work assembles a critical montage of inconspicuous images of experience in the “digital age” and thus picks up a theme that is central to modernity: the change in experience for everyday life presented by technology. This theme was central to Walter Benjamin, whose work “On some motifs in Baudelaire” figures prominently in Sans Sans Soleil. In that text, Benjamin uses Baudelaire’s art as well as his life to examine the changing relationship between the artist and the audience, the poet and the reader, the individual and the crowd in modernity. 

For Benjamin, modernity was marked by disjointed everyday experiences and a disrupted relationship between the present and the past. The trepidation that was felt due to the loss of a cultural memory is still very much our condition today. But in addition, the rise of digital information has brought on a new problem from the opposite direction as Chris Marker recognized: total recall is memory anesthetized. The reservoir of cultural memory that is the internet changes experience due to its ability to preserve information.

 
   
The Chorus, 2018  
2hr45min  
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This project investigates the notion of the chorus, a character in Ancient Greek drama of ‘the people’ that was cut out of theatre at the same time democracy ended in Ancient Athens around 342 BCE. The chorus has been largely absent from contemporary popular forms of media. I have made a work that interrogates the structure of fiction by re-inserting the character of the chorus into a contemporary film. The piece situates the chorus as an example of ‘the part of no part,’ and seeks to question the relation between its disappearance and our present plights of democratic discontent.  
 

The Kidnapper's Opera, 2013

1hr38min
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The Kidnapper’s Opera is a video-artwork based on a true story: On December 21, 1990, several young men, some of them teenagers, kidnapped the daughter of Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison in Vancouver. After receiving a $200,000 first payment on their ransom demands, the kidnappers decided to go on a shopping spree in a rented limousine; they were caught later that day conspicuously spending large amounts of cash at local shopping malls. Inspired by a quotation from Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera – “What is the robbery of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” – the film considers how inequality is psychologically experienced in our society. The explanation for the behaviour of the teenagers focuses on the false desires of fortune and personal grandeur created by advertising, the media, and a sense of lack perpetuated by globalization. Structured like a play, each scene of The Kidnapper’s Opera is set and shot uniquely.
 
Donald, 2010/2017  
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Leda and the Swan (After Paul Mathias Padua), 2010
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Commodities Start Talking at Millionaire Fair

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Kultur: Ultimate Fighting Championship, Cologne, Germany, June 13, 2009

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The Theme is the American Dream: Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, Nevada, August 25 - 31, 2008 / Democratic National Convention, Denver Colorado, August 25 - 28, 2008

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