Critical Encounter by Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau 2010


Critical Encounter (2010)

HD video (3min. 45 sec.)  + rotating sculpture (dm = 1 m, height = 1,2 m). Actors: DanDara ViTaL & Kristofer Paetau. Camera: Robert Estermann & Rubens Pileggi Sá.

A seductive curator visits the artist’s studio but incompatibility of artistic vision turns the visit into a traumatic experience…

The film was shot in a cheap hotel in Rio de Janeiro where transvestite prostitutes go with their clients. The two improvising actors are DanDara ViTaL and myself. DanDara is supposedly a Brazilian curator making a studio visit to a foreign “gringo” artist who has made an artistic research in Rio de Janeiro. But things start going wrong from the beginning: the curator finds the studio strange and does not have much empathy for the research that I am trying to speak about. Soon a clash of artistic visions and values seems inevitable…

DanDara is a brazilian actress and a transvestite who does not speak nor understand English. In this film she is repeating phonetically the words that I told her on the spot. This not only gives her performance an absurd quality but also suggests the difficulty in art to find ‘a common language’ – whereas I speak an average non-native English but find myself incapable of explaining my art in a convincing manner.

Kristofer Paetau


68 Responses to “ Critical Encounter (2010) ”

  1. Not sure if this is supposed to be ironical or pathetic, or just some kind of improvised amateur theater?

  2. What is this transvestite thing about? I remember she also played a collector in another video. I kind of like the un-credible self-parody but I don’t see why it has to be a transvestite, but that’s maybe a personal matter of taste 😉

  3. Boring shit as usual…

  4. The sculpture is not so bad but the bla-bla is horrible

  5. the dialogues are totally stereotypes of art world jargong but the conflict never happens in the real world. Here the conflict is escalating too fast and is not credible but it’s a nice way to speculate about how most boring studio visits actually could end up.

  6. I have to watch a lot of bad film for a living. It just keeps coming…

  7. poor guy!

  8. if trash is openly and aims to scare with the aesthetic shock, CONGRATULATIONS.

  9. Spends too much time on dialogue when the same punch-line could be accomplished with no conversation: a little music and ending with an over-the-top response. Pantomime. Reminds me of a sketch from the Red Skelton Show before it went to color.

  10. It’ so bad its beyond irony – post ironic ? The production values cannot are so bad that they cannot be deliberate in any sense of professionalism. Reminds me of Abba singing English lyrics that they did not understand, but sang phonetically. Utterly pointless.

  11. waste of time!

  12. I also would like to piss on the most of works of contemporary art. Is it necessary to be a transgender to make it? I can dress me up…

  13. en el próximo vídeo, el travesti debiera interpretar a una vaca sagrada del arte y así tendríais la trilogía…

  14. nice! do they fuck in the sequel?

  15. No dramaturgy, no cut and no photography. So, no comments!
    Gustavo Cassano

  16. KKKKKKKKKKKKK very good! pure nonsense trash.

  17. Its lovely in the impossibility of a meaningful dialogue.. the pissing on the sculpture and stomping out is an unncessessary cliche
    Thanks – I enjoyed it..

  18. haha, could you make a video without bodily fluids too? you seem to be stuck deep in the anal phase…

    and for the video content… research? i call this holiday art. can you tell me which ‘cultural foundation’ paid for your holiday in brazil?you should mention them in the credits of your ‘videoart’ at least.

  19. very weak, bad actors, bad script.

  20. Your lack of simpathy for people is just pathetic. You are just making use of a person, bringing her to to act inside a context unfamiliar to her, as a way to ridicularize curators. I don’t fucking mind if you make fun of curators, which are supposedly a group in power in your restrict point of view (but in truth, curators can be as fucked up as artists themselves. I’m surprised you couldn’t understand that even living in Brazil).

    It would be a shallow perspective, but still you would be talking to people that are familiar with your vocabulary (bot artistic and linguistic). The problem is to use that perso – who is way more interesting than yourself in every possible manner – as symbol of ignorance. You are the ignorant one, and you’re not even hot. And I happen to like skinny geeky ugly boys, but even so you suck.

  21. I think the artist is the stupid guy in this film, exposing his lack of concept whatsoever. The curator is just making basic observations, based on what she sees. The fact that she doesn’t understand what she says but still says the right thing is interesting.

  22. Trying to make a political platform out of pathetic whining which is the tail end of institutional critique by the time it gets to your generation now choking on child centered education and cheap psychoanalysis.

  23. fax video

  24. Well..Contemporary art: an artist who creates art that is in touch with the times he or she lives in. Ok, you asked for my opinion. I watched the video with the sound on and then watched it again with the sound should try it.

    My point is this; in the real world people don’t really listen, and in the video I did not listen and struggled to watch, so it connects in that way and the medium you have used is bang up to date and it is broadcast over the web.

    With the sound off I payed more does not really matter what people think, but how the audience connect with the art you have created in this video..some of your comments show that some viewers can’t connect and others have, and that will always be the case no matter what you just keep on creating until you have a big enough audience… its a video with artisitic expression, liked by some, loathed by others….whats the big deal.


  26. WTF!!!

  27. Congratulations on the reactions, a continuation of the creative dialogue.
    I will copyright my feedback now ©

  28. I like it.

  29. WONDERFULLY funny! I LOVED the sculpture made of tourist kitsch and the faux art critical schtick of the artist. It reminds me of Australian artist Malcolm Ellis’s 1979 videotape “The Clayton Earthworks” where he took an ordinary pile of dirt at a suburban construction site, and with his elegant assemblage of critical theory cliches, turned it into a monumental artwork. Nice use of English by a non-English speaker as well – the awkwardness contributes to the angularity of the film. A most enjoyable view!

  30. I liked everything about it except the end when the ‘curator’ pee’d on the artwork, which I thought was spurious.

    but the awkwardness of dialogue, the bad acting and the stilted discussion about political realities and art were all hilarious.

  31. For some very weird reason my browser quit unexpectedly while I was waiting the download. It then reappeared at different page that informed I had mysteriously opted out of Brody & Paetau. Again it moved itself to the homepage and I waited for the download for a second time…

    So, after all that hassle, allow me to ask you one thing: do you really think I should be happy with what I saw?

  32. I’m not sure it is ever the intent of an artist to make you happy. You want happy, drop into your nearest pub and down a half dozen pints.
    I think the narrative is interesting but the shock value ending is unnecessary. I would have felt the ending more compelling if he/she were to have just kicked the shit out of the assembled figurines, swept the broken pieces into a pile and told you it was a conceptual statement on the decline of western civilization or at least gringolandia and demanded you extrapolate meaning from that action.

  33. if you write “shit” (which is the simple truth), he even feels FLATTED!

  34. what a waste of time !

  35. Who is the artist? The curator or the common artist?
    My opinion is that the creativity of art belongs to artist and the creativity and the value of art-concepts belongs to viewers.

  36. Piss on your creativity with the complicity of a critic is like pissing on anything after that is the only reality death, the only real obsession of an artist.

  37. Elf needs food badly. =oulous

  38. This work has is a very good main idea but as always in your works I can’t see the point of the sexual exposition, except as an masturbation for yourself. And than you have lost the focus i think. Sex is wonderful, but don’t mistake sexual heat to be the same as euphoria about great art, because thats another thing.

  39. never saw anything more crap!!!
    thanx for wasting my time!…
    your act is poor…

  40. FAKE, :_(

  41. you say tomato I say tomahtoe

  42. Ever seen Little Britain? There are good artist, but they are really very rare.
    This is childish waste of time. Again a product of ‘higher’ art education?

  43. the picture are uninteresting I won’t to see this film

  44. Wow, it’s a new Jeff Koons (with the face of Keith Haring)! … :-) :-)

  45. J only read the comments and try to picture what it is. One foot here on the crytical mass the other there in the crave of artists’ ego compensation. Too narrow

  46. The film is marketed and sold as an ‘artwork’ this seems extremely cynical for what is in effect an over-intellectualised art student exploration into self obsessed contextualisation. Oh dear…I’m using his art language, does that mean I can now market my comments as well…or does it need a sensationalist transgressive act to validate?

  47. SHIT!

  48. is that woman a dude?

  49. Are we to believe that the sex reversal is like the mirror reversal here? No one has commented in the role of the mirror and that we are the voyeristic spectators. Thank god I can’t see myself in that mirror!

  50. Sorry about spelling errors above: voyeur and “on the role” of the mirror. Guess my poor English makes me an unwilling participant in this piece.

  51. your art concept is useless because your “beautiful” art object follow the fashon of the moment… that’s all.

  52. Emission → rececption in contemporary art, huge dilema.
    That’s very illustrative.
    Ophelia Patricio Arrabal got to see this.

  53. I loved it…it made me laugh and the art world deserves this kind of poke in the eye. I love the white porcelain rotating sculpture. It is lovely and poetic and represents the pure vision of the artist…ironic and true! thank you!

  54. kkkkkkkkkkkk
    so many levels of absurd and irony (and your own obsessions…)
    Loved it!
    Claudia Hersz

  55. Not even know what to say about this one!

  56. Briefly the rloe of the curator is spiralling out of control. The artist’s true intentions will be embracing of humanity in the hands of a competent artist. This is the first duty of a curator: to listen without prejudice to the artist. The artist is the key person in the equation. To respect and communicate the artists intent is the proper role for the curator. That the artist did research validates the intent of the artist and the artists desire to understand the native culture. In Australia there is the expression “emerging curator” which signifies that curators are not only content to steal the artists thunder, but also desirous of any prestige that an artist may achieve through hard work. The curator does not have to do any hard work: that has been done by the artist. This is a brilliant video art work which identifies and deals with, in a creative way, the predicament of societies repeated failure to afford respect to artist.

  57. I was fascinated by your connundrum on encountering a an un communicative curator. Your feedback enties, reveal so many are quick to ridicule, dismiss and destoy art, yet so few have the courage to take their ideas out to the world.

  58. Thank you for your work. Very honest, clear and powerfull! Don’t be hurt by reactions of people, you have the consciouness to provoke it. If your work would’n cause any reactions, it would just not be that good. Good luck!

  59. I’ve watched the film Critical Encounter. I found it really interesting for -at least- two reasons: the first is that the artist shows his narcisistic and natural necessity not only to be known, but also clearly understood and appreciated. Closed in his studio the artistic research and the work itself don’t make sense.

    The second is the emphasis given to the Empathy’s issue.
    It seems to me that the Brasilian curator represents the global public which, standing in front of something that has to be new (that means not familiar and comfortable) in order to be contemporary, reacts in an aggressive, rude and insulting way.

    Is it only a language problem? I doubt it: I think that art is what is left by the language. A sculpture, a painnting etc. are able to communicate without words, or are able to be misunderstood even by peple coming from the same country, language and culture.

    I apologise for my basic English, thaks for your attention and your patience.

  60. Great piece! A critical contribution to the discours on contemporary art. Thank you so much.

  61. An encounter between a jargon driven artist (parroting things he has read or heard elsewhere) and a judgemental unsympathetic curator that thinks him/herself a good judge of art, and has a high opinion of his/herself. She refuses to engage with the work in a constructive way. The artist gets upset and the curator literally pisses on the work (seen it before in symbolic form).
    Title: Misguided narcissistic artist meets arrogant narrow-minded nasty curator.
    I am sure there are additional levels of satire based on the gender-bender curator and geeky head-shaved intense overly intellectual artist.

  62. Be happy, dont worry

  63. Cultures differ. Cultural approachs differ. It is understood. Writing about it is good. Opens new horizons. Thanks

  64. gay shit

  65. Good work.

  66. very amusing.

  67. I don’t understand if it is a joke or a bad brasilian reality. Bòh?
    The only thing that I know is: If a shit pissed on my artwork I would cut him the …!
    Sure! I will not remain without words, as that artist, or pseudo-artist!

  68. It was meant to happen.