With her recent films and videos, Dolron adds a new dimension
to her practice. Complex Systems situates itself in the broader
context of Dolron’s film and video work, such as Uncertain
TX (2016) and I will show you fear in a handful of dust (2016).
Consistent with themes in her past photographic series these
new works share ‘transcendence’ as a common thread.
Dolron’s work suggests a kind of otherworldly existence.
Profound investigation combined with careful observation
preludes the making of both Dolron’s photographs and films.
Employing a minutely tuned artistic process, the resulting work
reveals the serenity and intimacy of her technqiue.
Complex Systems displays a digitally drawn flock of starlings,
scattering throughout the sky in a loop of ever-changing
patterns. In this work themes such as the fragility of existence,
impermanence and the dichotomy between the individual and
the collective form the conceptual ground of her inquiry. The
title of the film is adopted from the scientific field of network
research, which employs the term to define the complex
interactions between different components of the same group.
The shapes assumed by the birds are proven to be the result
of a defense mechanism system: in order to avoid attack by
predators, a singular starling keeps track of seven others
simultaneously – in doing so, the starling is able to adapt to
the changing flying directions of the entire flock, thus keeping
the collective intact. The dichotomy between the individual and
the collective is at the core of Dolron’s interest in this natural
phenomenon. Complex Systems investigates the relation
between singular and shared intelligence, prompting questions
concerning humanity, the psyche and the possible presence of
a collective unconscious.
The link to the human psyche is emphasized by the cyclical
character of the film; Dolron underlines the full turn of life in
which the starlings function as a metaphor. Their movements
change from an initial drive to a final, slow fall, while the
murmuration happens in an eternal loop that symbolizes the
cycle of life and its fragility. The movements of the starlings,
combined with the pivotal soundtrack of murmuring voices that
intensify and fade according to the flock’s movements, allude to
the human mind in a state of constant flux.
About the artist
Desiree Dolron (Haarlem, 1963) lives and works in Amsterdam. Her work has recently been the subject of a large mid-career retrospective at the Singer Museum in Laren (NL), with a new monograph about her renowned Xteriors series designed by Irma Boom, published for the occasion.
Dolron’s oeuvre ranges from documentary images and still lifes to portraiture and film. Dolron’s work can be found in the following public and private collections: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (US); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (US); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL); Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid (ES); Groninger Museum, Groningen (NL); Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK); The Buhl Foundation, New York, NY (US); The Olbricht Collection, Berlin (DE); Ekard Collection, Wassenaar (NL) and many others.