Suzanne Treister : Operation Swanlake

19 May - 17 July 2004

In 1995 Suzanne Treister started work on Time Travelling with Rosalind Brodsky. This vast work uses web sites, interactive CD-ROMs, photography, video, drawings, paintings and constructions, to chart the life and adventures of the eponymous heroine as she travels through time and history, through fact and delusion: trying to rescue her grandparents from the camps of the Second World War, making a laboratory in Mad King Ludwig's castle, and visiting the swinging sixties. She receives analysis from Freud, Jung and Kristeva, and traces the family tree of the creators of the Golem. This narrative of actuality and hallucination has been described by Art in America as "One of the most sustained fantasy trips of contemporary art" (Oct 2002)


Operation Swanlake documents in detail the actions of the 'Institute of Militronics and Advanced Time Interventionality" and Rosalind Brodsky as they research the construction of a range of sonic weapons. They dig deep into opera, ornithology, battleship design, alchemy, black holes and retirement homes in Florida in this quest. Elements drawn from these diverse sources are combined to produce and design a new generation of hardware. The project not only brings to light hitherto unsuspected links between Wagner and Battle Class Soviet destroyers, it illuminates the military imperatives of our culture. Its energetic cross-linking and the promiscuous making of narratives highlight the artist's fascination with the way that we make sense of history and politics. The striking conjunctions of cause and effect and the tracing and execution of strange agendas in the work means that we are continually confronted by the way that very similar operations have shaped and continue to shape the world around us.


Suzanne Treister was born in London and is currently based in Berlin and London. She has exhibited widely. Recent exhibitions include: "(The World May Be) Fantastic", 2002 Biennale of Sydney; "Fly Utopia!", transmediale.04, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; "Don't Call it Performance", Centro de Arte Reina Sofía  Madrid; "FILE Festival internacional de linguagem eletrônica", Museum of Image and Sound, São Paulo, Brazil; "PUSAN International Contemporary Art Festival", Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pusan, South Korea; Festival of Independent Press, Museo de la Memoria, Tlaxcala, Mexico; "Contact Zones" Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, USA; 7th International Media Art Biennale, Wroclaw, Poland.


The publication/cd rom, "No Other Symptoms - Time Travelling with Rosalind Brodsky", published by Black Dog Publishing Ltd, ISBN: 190103366X, was launched in 1999 at the Freud Museum, London.