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Screenings of single-channel video works by Gary Hill – First Evening

The evening, first of two, will include videos from the 1980s until today. Join us for a rare opportunity to watch a body of works by a seminal video artist.

Entrance fee: 10 Shekel


Around & About, 1980, 4:45 min.

“Around & About came out of a ‘what if’ scenario. What if I were to cut images to every syllable of a spoken text?” Images of an office change with every spoken syllable and editing them together creates a new rhythm that combines the intuitive text, directed to an abstract other, causing the images to take on new meanings. Happenstance (part one of many parts), 1982-83, 6:30 min.

The opening sequence of this black-and-white work depics a square, circle and triangle as the basic elements of the formal repertoire. They are joined by letters and words, whose configuration suggests the shape of the triangle. Simultaneously sounds are linked to the visual elements: a bass drum to the square, crash cymbal to the circle, and a kind of “twang” sound to the triangle.  The interplay between language and image builds to a text-filled page: “vanishing points” that shift down the page into “points vanishing.” Hill creates a kind of choreography of thought that gives rise to tension between the images and the spoken or written texts. At the textual level, he addresses the ephemerality of linguistic meanings inside the nature of language.

Incidence of Catastrophe, 1987-88, 43:51 min.

Inspired by the novel Thomas the Obscure by Maurice Blanchot wherein the protagonist of the novel is also the reader of the novel (who may well be Blanchot himself). In the video, Thomas, the protagonist, is played by Hill, confounding the self-reflexive nature of the book’s relationships all the more, making the video something of a “transcreation.” Site Recite (a prologue), 1989, 4:00 min.

Appearing as a hazy horizon laden with strange objects, the scene comprises bones, skulls of small mammals, butterflies, nuts, and other botanical “finds” spread out on a round table. These are objects of the kind one might collect on a nature trail in additional to shells and crumpled notes. They are relics that suggest the cycle of life in a way familiar to us from vanitas still life painting and natural history collections. The camera moves around the table, picking out objects which, because of the shallow depth of focus, stand out one after another from the panorama of the jumbled collection. In this way the camera discloses the transient beauty of the items one after the other, capturing the beauty of each for a fraction of a second before focusing on the next object.

Goats and Sheep, 1995/2001, 11:50 min.

Goats and Sheep consist of two simultaneous views of a person signing: The hands and arms are framed in one, and the back of the head and top of the shoulders in the other.  This latter view catches the hands when they refer to the head during signing. For Goats and Sheep, Hill re-recorded his own voice and “re-synchronized” it to the original signing.  The stereo field is used to double the voice with approximately a second of delay added to the sound.  This doubling mirrors the hands and numerous references and repetitions heard in the text.

Blind Spot, 2003, 12:27 min.

Blind Spot constructs a space of living portraiture by “focusing time” on an exchange between the artist (the camera) and a man on the street in the small Algerian neighborhood of Belsunce in Marseille, France.  As the camera zooms in slowly on its subject, the imagery is interrupted by longer and longer segments of dark silence, in essence slowing the scene down so that it almost reaches the photographic.

English without subtitles.

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