Slowly turning Narrative
based on a text by Bill Viola
speaker Nathan Fuhr
video Mendel Hardeman
format spoken word performance with live video
The text by Bill Viola is an infinite list of human actions, and should be read aloud in a quite hypnotic rhythm:
the one who reads, the one who sits, the one who fornicates, the one who walks, the one who perishes, the one who fights, the one who loves, the one who makes, the one who abuses, the one who flies, the one who kills, the one who cries, the one who masturbates, the one who drinks, the one who promises etc.
The text comes from Bill Viola's installation "Slowly-Turning Narrative" which Nathan and I had both experienced, separately and on different occasions. In Bill Viola's installation you hear the voice on a tape loop, and the middle of the room is occupied by a big rotating screen, which on one side is a projection screen, and on the other side a mirror. Thus the face of the spectator himself alternates with the video images. We chose to speak the text live, and to use a camera with instant projection instead of the mirrors, in order to create a more palpably human, as well as confrontational, experience for the audience.
The spaces where we did it were always completely dark, with one small light for Nathan to read, and me with an oil lamp in one hand and a camera in the other, walking around and searching for close-ups of faces of every single person in the audience, while the image was being projected on the wall.
07.12.01, Rüdiger Meyer's performance party, Den Haag
06.03.03, Muziekcentrum de IJsbreker, Amsterdam
where I had to stop early because the oil lamp fell down and broke
09.05.04, Kunstvlaai 5, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
with live electronic music by Roddy Schrok
Mendel Hardeman archiv 1999-2006