8 Nov 2014


Gibson + Recoder
“The function of the motion-picture screen is to display a world of fantasy and entertainment without the screen being obvious.”

On “Screen Masking, Surrounds, and Screen Draperies” in Don v. Kloepfel, Motion-Picture Projection and Theatre Presentation Manual, 1969.

The point of departure for this premiere performance was the obliteration, literally the blotting-out, of the cinematic object of projection. Projection performance as the art par excellence of obstructing, concealing, and masking absolutely nothing but itself. Obliteration: in which the spectacle of the apparatus is to be screened, or better screened-out, in the negative relief of a self-cancellation vis-à-vis nothing but the disciplinary application of a cinematic standard.Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder stage the scene of film as orphaned object through the temporal labor of moving image installation. Collaborators since 2000, Gibson and Recoder unite the rich traditions of the experimental film, particularly its structuralist and materialist strands, and the multi-modal sensibility of expanded cinema that emerged in the 1960s, in which the moving image was woven into the labile space of performance, sound and audience interaction. Based in New York, Gibson and Recoder have exhibited and performed internationally at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, Sundance Film Festival, CATE, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Sagamore, Toronto International Film Festival, Tate Modern, Viennale, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Reina Sofia, Nam June Paik Art Center, Yokohama Museum of Art, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Gibson + Recoder are represented by Robischon Gallery, for more information please see


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)
The performance was part of the International Conference ABANDON, a collaboration between World Picture and the ICI Berlin. The conference fed into the ICI’s Core Project ERRANS and was supported by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and the Department of Italian at the University of Cambridge.

In English

First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Conference

Abandon: World Picture Conference

Keynote by Laurence Rickels
Live performance by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder

The term abandon encompasses radical renunciation and immersive indulgence in its oscillation between abandonment of and abandonment to, between restraint and luxury, mindfulness and neglect. When we speak of abandonment we indicate a situation in which we take leave of something, or disband a collective entity, or else act in a way that suggests a disaggregation of certain protocols of behaviour, or belonging (as when we ‘laugh with abandon’). Discourses and scenes of media and politics are generally highly invested in ideas of taking-leave, breaking apart or away, acting with abandon. In the present moment, we believe the term resonates in manifold ways. For instance: with often painful choices between theoretical and political models that have outlasted their effectiveness but to which there seem to be no alternatives; with turns to abandoned objects as new sources of ontologies in which the turn itself is a mode of abandoning an established political-theoretical project; with the obdurate ‘problem’ of pleasure in aesthetics and aesthetic theory as either the obstacle or the medium of the aesthetic’s interface with the political; with the cathexis of the body and its phenomenology as an instrument and medium of political and aesthetic experimentation; with attempts to relinquish the human, and its attendant association with agency, as a category of experience; with contemporary experiences/fantasies of control and resistance to control; with theatricalizations of abjuration and gratification.


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)

Organized by

Manuele Gragnolati
Christoph F. E. Holzhey
Brian Price
John David Rhodes
Meghan Sutherland
An ICI Event with support from the Faculty of Modern and Medievl Languages and the Department of Italian at the University of Cambridge

This year’s World Picture Conference was a collaboration with the ICI Berlin and fed into its Core Project ERRANS, which takes the shifting and incompatible meanings of erring as a starting point to explore the critical potentials and risks of embracing error, randomness, failure, and non-teleological temporalities.

Cite as: ‘Obliteration: Gibson + Recoder’, performance presented at the conference Abandon: World Picture Conference, ICI Berlin, 8 November 2014 <>