Hauser & Wirth, London, 2009 (photo Mike Bruce)

The American Room

2009-2011, single channel video projection, colour, Dolby digital encoded surround 5.1 channels, 24 min 29 sec

In The American Room the relation between movement and stillness is being translated very literally into the relation between breathing and holding the breath. If persisted: the latter results in death. But the soundtrack, through its rhythmical structure advocates continuity of the inanimate world on screen.
This is the strange poetic effect of the observer watching the 'dead' - and therefore in many ways mute listener in The American Room. Subtle interventions put into question the individual authority of photographic stillness, filmed motion and spatial distance. The listeners have been scanned using stills, not a video camera. A three dimensional -virtual- space allows for infinite camera movement. However, this has been purposely constrained to mimic conventional camera movement. The music, although detached from the musicians is submitted to a reverberation as if it relates to where the camera is.

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David Claerbout ©2024