Execution (revisited)

October 13, 2017

‘Execution’ is a short film which I made in 2012. Here I will go back to this work for a short analysis about the effect of projection in the installation as exhibited in 2014.

Execution (installation view, Sept 2014)

Execution (video still, 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, it might be interesting to recall the making process of both ‘Execution’s.

The film has been made in several stages. While doing a location visit in an old for sale house on Tenerife (Spain), I saw the abandoned chairs standing. Directly I imagined what could have happened there before. Then I entered a bedroom and saw this fascinating mirror and the left bed. I shot the footage while my friends took a tour through the would be renovation project. Some days later on the residency premisses of Mariposa in Arona, I made with my slow-motion camera the images of the pins and the swinging ball on the rope. The bowling set was meant to be a play for entertainment but for me it felt like something harsher. The sound of falling pins in my earphones was massive.

Back at my studio in Holland, after several weeks, I started editing some of the many assembled video materials. Soon I realised that the aforementioned shots should go together as they felt with similar patina. I realised the peaceful contrast of Tenerife against the close-by backdrop of Africa and imagined some kind of backstory for the film.

A firm soundtrack was made and the execution became this ☟

 

The solo exhibition I made was named in Dutch ‘voelbaar vloeibaar’ which translates to something like ‘tangible flowing’ or ‘feel it flows’. The pieces all expressed my liking for reflective surfaces and reflective fluids and materials that bounce something back. So I decided that the film ‘Execution’ could be shown too as an installation. I came up with the idea of projecting it in a compartment filled with smoke. A glass aquarium would be suitable.

While making the projection, I noticed that the smoke layers became quickly too thick. This resulted in losing the imagery. So the material made me decide to put the smoke machine on in short intervals. This amounted in a kind of wave of perceivable images. However, as not foreseen beforehand, the projection also reflected on the glass pane and therewith made a second image on the wall of the industrial exhibition space. I liked this so much, also because this represented a new space you could imagine but you could not enter.

In a way it became by its projection and reflection a totally different work. The sound of the film was less important. The visual side increased the impact and engaged the spectators this manner (more?). But the work lost a bit of its narrative quality and became also more ambiguous. The meaning and feeling changed certainly. Both works, in fact I should give them two titles, were fascinating but it is hard to say which I prefer.

In conclusion, the order of the creating process has been essential here. First a film, then the piece transformed into an installation, leads probably to a more unbalanced work. This in comparison to knowing from the start that you will try to create a video installation. But whether one or the other is advantageous stays a question.