body.move – English Text

Premier screeing at the exhibition «Gathering Grenland» (Prosjektrommet, Porsgrunn, June 2010)
Part of the installation program for the art festival PAPAY GYRO NIGHTS 2011 (The Orkneys, February 2011)
Screened at the Icelandic festival IS700 (Iceland, March 2012)

The video installation is to be screened on two TV screens, from two DVD players. The screens are preferably placed on the floor at a slightly aslant angle to each other.

DVD A and DVD B are set up for loop playing. The DVDs have different lenghts, and the action of the two films are not ment to match but to shift throughout the screening.

DVD A: 6 min 46 sec. DVD B: 6 min 7 sec.
Format: DVD PAL. No zone. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Black/white. No sound.

To walk is something most of us take for granted. It’s something we do with as much awareness as we breathe or blink. But we think little or nothing – in most cases – on how we walk, or why. We are walking to or from, we’re walking to do something or get something done. Nevertheless, we react instinctively on how other people walk. The way a person walkes tells us something about this person; minded or absent minded, determined, playful, nervous, happy, sad… We are looking instictly to find the «evidence of character» that fits the movement. Tempo, attitude, physical disabilities are strong symbolic assets of any personality, of emotions and temperament.

To walk is personal freedom and constraint in the same event. But to walk is also a reminder of the limits we consciously and unconsciously set for ourselves – and the impressions we have about others.

«body.move» is based on the video taped performances of the 1960 – and 70s, not done in front of an audience, but for the camera in a studio, where so many early video works were conceived.

he premises restricts the actions: Indoor and in front of an anonymous wall. The setting is distancing. But it also highlights «the character» – which is seen more clearly than if he were in a more natural environment.

hen doing the editing, the order of the clips/events were decided by drawing lots. The videos are roughly and easily edited together. No dramatic narrative, only a series of isolated incidents. The idea was to not lock the interaction between the two screens but to present only randomly juxtaposed events.

The work is not intended as a catalog work – or a typology – of gaits. There are several distinctive ways to walk missing, like the march. Rather, the thought is to express how the movement is related to the «personality» – how (often unconsciously) ways of walking make who we are visible to others. But what can we really know? In this work the reason why is not present, so how can one be sure that the person actually express the feelings we attach to him? Could it be that they exist mostly as a result of cinematic cliches, of the excessive mimic as we know them whole the way back to the era of silent film with its gestural acting? For in contrast to for instance the photographic snapshot, the film’s force is the fixation of a movement, not merely a moment in time: it is this movement that is the basis of action. Or do we attach to others the same pattern of feelings and reactions as we have ourselves?

This factor is partially underlined in the work in that it appears simultaneously on two monitors – A and B – but in a form where the movements are not parallel. There are also some movements that are unique to the single screen.

On screen A a person goes back and forth towards the camera, while on screen B he goes past the camera, usually towards the left. This juxtaposition of motion in different axes helps to underline how the viewer relates to the «character». On screen B the person will have a natural distance, you look at someone performing an action. On screen A – where the «character» in many of the shots are looking directly at the viewer – the viewer is forced to involve themselves more: Who is that I have in front of me? What does he want?

Another reason for the double screening is to show how much similarity there are in each action even though they are based on a different emotional foundation. Many assets of the events will always be the same, although the cause that provoked them are widely different. This element might be linked stronger to the notion of a Character than any other.

© 2009 Pastiche Films