El jardín del amor (The garden of love) is a celebration of life and love, religious ecstasy, where animals, humans and nature coexist in harmony.
Germán Bobe: Dreaming in the Gardens of Love
1988 - 1991 | TRT 28:23
Video Data Bank is pleased to present the VDB TV program Germán Bobe: Dreaming in the Gardens of Love, in which we highlight selections from the Chilean-born artist's early video works. These pieces express romantic exuberance painted in the electric vibrancy of cathode rays, as well as longing restraint illuminated in soft sepia-tones and black and white chiaroscuro. The videos are often simultaneously joyfully campy and intensely serious. Bobe mixes religious iconography and mythic imagery with queer sensibilities and classic cinema aesthetics to create beautiful and moving artworks.
Germán Bobe spotlights ideas behind fundamental human experiences such as the human body, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, and Western colonialism. While young, Germán's family left Pinochet's Chile and he spent his childhood and adolescence in Libya, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States and Argentina. The works presented here were created around the time of his return to Chile which was then a nation emerging from 17 years of dictatorship. It was a time of exploration and expansion for all the country's artists.
Alongside this program we are happy to announce the release of Germán Bobe: Early Works. This is a compilation of Germán's early videos, made from 1988-1996, now available for institutional purchase and licensing. To learn more about Germán's life and practice, read our recent VDB Asks... featuring Bobe.
This lyrical piece celebrates the male body simply and elegantly. Its subject, Christophe, is exquisitely portrayed by the sepia-toned balletic video. Three men dressed in overcoats dance in and out of the frame in front of a mostly stationary camera. Occasionally they open or partially remove the overcoats to display beautifully sculpted male bodies.
This dreamlike, poetic video provokes the viewer to question the nature of the most human of experiences. The collage aesthetic exposes how human relationships—between men and women, men and men, women and women—are mediated by dominant ideologies as represented in the mass media and religion. Bobe posits no theories and draws no conclusions, leaving the viewer with a truly postmodern conundrum about life, love, art, men, women and death.
The Dream of the Darkest Hour takes the intrigue and mystery of Bobe's other works but exacerbates it in such a way that it is overpowered by aesthetics and experimental tonality. Within how limited its elements are, each one of them plays a fundamental role since without one, the others tend to remain in the air.