Haim Steinbach | Framing

Haim Steinbach explores the relationship between his aesthetic language and the film medium, and revisits his exhibition “lemon yellow”.

A still from Jean-Luc Godard's La Chinoise (1967)
Haim Steinbach, you don't see it, do you?, 1994. Courtesy of the artist.

Haim Steinbach’s oeuvre has, as he said, never been deconstructed through the vantage point of filmmaking. ‘Film, or the structure of the cinematic hasn’t been projected onto my work,’ said Steinbach. ‘Now I want to explore the bridge between cinema and what I do.’ In conversation with Shifting Vision, Steinbach discussed film, perception, and his 2017 solo exhibition lemon yellow at Lia Rumma Gallery.

‘I haven’t consciously thought about film in relation to my work, but the impact that my love of cinema had on my childhood is important.’ Steinbach said, citing Jean-Luc Godard as a particular early influence. ‘I think that cinema has a lot to do with the way that I have internalized the experience of perception and the experience of film’ he said.

Haim Steinbach, robot poetry, 2011.
Haim Steinbach, robot poetry, 2011.

‘In art history they have spoken for more than 100 years about how photography changed the way artists were thinking and seeing, but very little about film,’ he explained. ‘Of course it is not only film, it’s also the revolution in psychology and perception at the end of the 19th century. By the 20th century there was a complete restructuring of how we perceive things and how this affects the way we behave.’

Installation view of Haim Steinbach, lemon yellow  at Galleria Lia Rumma, Naples, 2017. Courtesy of the artist. Photos: Danilo Donzelli. | Bottom: Isabella Rossellini in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986).

Steinbach added that, ‘perception has changed over the 20th century  — Cubism influenced the idea of “collage, bricolage, assemblage.”  But this is so literal —  now I am thinking about the editing of film, in which you are literally cutting and connecting images.’ Steinbach said that he now can see his signature shelves supporting various objects interpreted as a framing device ... just like the camera. Each object is a narrative itself.’

Installation view of Haim Steinbach, lemon yellow  at Galleria Lia Rumma, Naples, 2017. Courtesy of the artist. Photos: Danilo Donzelli. | Federico Fellini and Anita Akberg on the set of La dolce vita (1960)