THE WEIGHT OF THINGS

2015-2018

Two channel video 02:50 mins

A two channel video installation that depicts two interior rooms of the Palace of Versailles in the midst of an earthquake.
The scanned original 19th century etchings of different room interiors in the Palace of Versailles are illustrated with thin black lines on on old paper. One is of the bedroom of Louis the 14th and one of the Salle de Constantine- which has three large paintings which recount the siege of Constantine (Algeria) and other French military successes.
Each video channel will depict one of these antique etchings of an interior room in the Palace of Versailles, etchings which are dense with detail.
I will scan the etchings, separate and animate each of the many details in them individually: from sculptures to tiny wall moldings to the small gures in the hung paintings, so that the each element separately trembles until eventually all the elements: artifacts, furniture, decorative features etc, fall and accumulate a pile on the rooms oor, and the once crowded walls will be left bare.
I will assign one video channel per print, and using high de nition projectors they will be projected directly onto the Sculpture Center’s basement’s old brick walls or onto another option is to have two 42″ LCD at screens side by side.
The sound will be the subtle sound of trembling that will be designed from real sounds recordings of earthquakes. A Bass-shaker will be rmly attached to the surface of the oor or bench in the space around the projections. A Bass-shaker is like a loud speaker that transmits low-frequency vibrations into various surfaces so that they can be felt by people like a distant earthquake.
Versailles, a western symbol of power, control and self aggrandizement is diminished within minutes. All it’s symbols of power, strength and glori cation fall and break to useless shreds on the oor.
Then comes the stillness of the aftermath. The now uncluttered space is like a clear, peaceful, landscape. Usually in the news we seen how natural disasters impact the most vulnerable poverty stricken areas, not often do we see these disasters impacting places with wealth and power.
Recent earthquake activity around the globe as well as other natural disasters have been linked to global obsessive consumption habits. In this work a momentary act of nature easily destroys all these “important” material things. This work explores this fragility. It strips away the useless items and literally takes us to the core of being, not unlike a meditative process beginning with cluttered thoughts and agitation and gradually shedding this clutter, leaving us with the stillness of a quiet empty space.

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