Video Installation: HARBOUR FRONT

Created together with Helge Krarup
1983: Huset, Copenhagen, Denmark
1986: "Lyrik og billeder" (Lyrics/Poetry and Pictures), Odense, Denmark

 

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Requirements for th installation:
At least five minitors, one VCR with auto-repeat, one video distribution amplifier, monitor stands, plastic foil, alu-craft etc, to create a rather narrow "corridor".

Tape structure:
One video tape, 30 min., colour, sound. Pictures: Copenhagen harbour front. Sound: recitation of poem and cuts from language course tape.

Concept:
Helge Krarup's poem "The Weather in Hong Kong" isinspired by a cassette tape with an English-Chinese language course. the sound is partly destryoed so the words are coming in waves, cut short, distinct, dim, etc.
Helge Krarup describes the poem as a "found object", "object trouvé", but arranged by a selection and preparation/adaption.
The sound track of the video installation starts with a recitation of the poem, followed by cuttings from the language course (cuts in which you now and then can distinguish the word "
harbour front".
The video track describes a sailing tour through the harbour of copenhagen, following the quays and wharfs.
The inspiration  to the physical arrangement of the installation came from the two British architecs Alison and Peter Smithson's book: "The Shift". In this they talk about:
"... images happening beyond images, the introduction of the plane, the tempo of those images were contrapunal to that of its settings ..." [In our case: Images beyond images/plane = the monitors and their reflections + setting = the English-chinese tape and its tempo which is hectic, caotic in relation to the pictures on the monitors].
"... the theme of layering, of planes and/or posts in series and depth ..." [depth created through the oblique angeled monitors down through the "corridor" - and also by the reflections].
"... insubstantial, coloured images sandwiched within transparent screens ..." [the plastic foil/stripes of plastic foil].
"... the layers of images, many identical apart from their colours, built up into a magical abstracted lattice suggesting a ... domain..." [the line of monitors with identical images].
Of course the two architects talk about architecture, but the words, sentences - detached, disconnected, isolated - inspired to the surreal setting of the installation.
Torben Soeborg

The idea was in a way to let the poem and the monitor pictures clash but also supplement each other. and although the title of the poem is "Weather in Hong Kong" the harbour front aspect was evident as a take off.
The intention is really odd naturalistic or analogous: the harbour front is one long horizontal cityscape - this we in fact simulated by replaying the tape on the many moonitors side by side. But at the same time this analogical aspect caused an abstraction: the one is created by the repetition of the same image simultaneously.
The effect of the angeled monitors side by side in the rather narrow "corridor" was in fact a strange bodylike wave motion - and to have to get so close passing by the monitor screens became not only pictures of something but also, that close, something which is concrete, is physical.
Helge Krarup

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