GENTLE TOURISM # I – V (1987 – 1990)
A journey through the political landscape of Europe, entertainment, opinions,
consumerism and historical monuments.
The history and the trace of the chronicler, new pattern on the traveller’s retina.
The march of history in the aesthetics of the electronic wall.
A counter movement to the tightly constructed films, the soft construction:
Believe, wait, sense and other delays.
GENTLE TOURISM – a video project.
The project layout is open:
The memory’s recollection of images and journeys.
Slowly moving across a detail, the story develops in one direction as in a complex painting.
Rhythm and space takes the story in another direction…. The archaeology of memory. Layers of an image.
Appearance – to dig through what appears sticking at first towards the Ur-image of the collective imaginary.
It is a contradiction in terms to move through the gaze visibility of concrete imagery, where the most beautiful image almost always is a sound and the most striking symphony is an image. In other words: things cannot be as being when they appear as being.
Only the artist knows when the he has reached the goal of making into being something visible. This is the very goal of the project.
The tools for this endeavour are:
- The character of an image separates itself from the narrative and dissolves the materiality of the world yet nonetheless maintains a presence. They articulate nothing or whispers rather, yet primarily they exist.
- The editing process supports the character of the image. Every time a message appears, the kind of meaning that man in the analytical laboratory would construct, then the editing process would take off on another journey.
- The electronic credibility, alternately moving away and getting closer still in the consciousness, underneath the skin or on the surface.
1987. DRAIN – GENTLE TOURISM # I 18:40 mins.
….scattered ashes fill the streets,
at a place of disembarkation,
an overexposed drain,
1988. THE ILLUSTRATED – GENTLE TOURISM # II 10:00 mins.
Beating, drummer blinded by aesthetic,
machinery dong, dong and dong,
– the illustrated itself –
on the breaking point of the illuminated tower.
Beating his own Orpheus: J’ai perdu ma Eurydice.
Beating. Only the arm is illustrated.
1988. THE SONG HAS WINGS – GENTLE TOURISM # III 29:35 mins.
Venice through the eye of the painter,
melancholic as the mirror’s reflection,
transcends the materiality into a new copy of electronic credibility.
1989. LENIN’S FOOT IN THE DOOR – GENTLE TOURISM # IV 13:00 mins.
The political figures step forth like dates in the calendar.
Perform the rituals play the symbols platform, banner.
Lenin’s foot in the door.
Jimmy’s footsteps, genuflection – nailed.
Martin in the Promised Land.
1990. IN THE ABSENCE OF THE FLY – GENTLE TOURISM # V 20:20 mins.
As the traveller turns toward
A tourist video that contains everything a good tourist video should:
dramatic episodes in the arena,
The trans/quiet dressing room.
* * *
1992. 1952 C/- 60:00 mins.
1952 C/- Sequence #1 04:40 mins.
Day One. The ship is wrecked.
The storyteller: 1952. A ship / a cargo – antiquities – plutonium – weapons – salt – timber –
a clear and frosty day, green, blue, electronically sharp, a crackling creaking sea. Flying Enterprise.
It’s forty years ago. I return, forty-three passengers, departure, minors freezing on the deck, playing cards, reading newspapers. We headed out from the southern coast, set the course, rounded Lands End.
Light on the bridge, vibrations from the motor. The radio: scratching, weather report, greetings, gossip, anything. Then, the end of the world, listening. The smell of the sea, the light of the sea.
Surrounded, carried, forward, immersed.
Destination: New York.
250 nautical miles from the Irish coast we were met by a hurricane.
A violent crash made the ship stay suspended in an endless second. The interior of the ship was scrutinized and a fracture in the hull was discovered. We were taking in water. The damage was sought repaired with steel wire and concrete. Another crash and we began taking water in for serious. Soon we had a list of sixty-five degrees, the cargo had shifted. The motor stopped, the electricity failed and we drifted along helplessly sending out a Mayday. The forty-three passengers gathered on the sloping deck, clutching themselves to the hatches, several ships in the area came to rescue, the passengers and the crew were saved with finally only one name left on the list. For some reason I chose to stay on the ship.
1952 C/- Sequence #2 03:59 mins.
Day Two. C/- [Captain Carlsen] ran on interior ground.
Here was I, with a simple story about a man on a ship, alone by the ocean. Meanwhile as the story unfolded it began to point in all directions, circular movements, peculiar angles, paths only leading further and further away from the key narrative. How many false tracks are possible?
1952 C/- Sequence #3 09:05 mins.
Day Three. C/- begins to measure and structure his world.
I had to interfere with the order of things as they gradually kept falling apart, things had to be picked up, clothes needed to be folded, maps needed to be straightened. Stories needed to be retold over and over again. Why this banality as the essence of life? The central issue for the draughtsman and the constructor is to connect various points by straight lines, to fill the empty gaps in this great clockwork. It all (trivial details) gathered into images of memory. As sequences A-B-C-D-E and 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. I was in daily contact with the world.
1952 C/- Sequence #4 09:12 mins.
Day Four. McArthur arrives bringing with him accounts of the state of things.
3rd January 1952. Finally. When the Gypsy is free as the bird and can no longer produce sad music. Vienna: The official Rudo Pravda writes that the communist revolution in Czechoslovakia has brought about a profound change in the music of Gypsies.
4th January 1952. The bananas for the sick children were stolen. The shipment was reduced drastically on its way through Denmark. From Sweden it is a well-known fact that several truck loads of bananas were donated to sick Danish children.
5th January 1952. The East-West conflict around the Peking Man. The Chinese accuses the Americans of having stolen the pre-historic bones. The answer goes: Supposedly, by a mistake, could the Chinese themselves have eaten them?
7th January 1952. Charlie Chaplin leaves cinema? London reports on the great film classic. Sunday Chronicle today brings an announcement that Charlie Chaplin might leave cinema when having finished his last film Limelight.
1952 C/- Sequence #5 19:07 mins.
Day Five. C/- resumes the measuring of his intimate surroundings.
I measured along as the days passed. How long does it take, holding the rails, to get from the galley to the chart room. How long does it take for an egg to roll through the space. How long does it take to crawl from the cabin to the chart room. What is the angle between sea and chimney? How many port-holes were visible? Angles, curves, lines, hours and minutes. All can be counted and measured. How many words and images. How many days have passed, how many days are left? Where were she when I measured, together with another, does it have a size and length?
1952 C/- Sequence #6 13:00 mins.
Day Six. The others are leaving for Korea and leave behind C/- on his piedestal.
The song: ”The reds / the reds / the reds are marching abreast, swaming like fleas.
Parents, wives, sweethearts and friends, we have no time to loose.”
1952 C/- Sequence #7 60:00 mins.
On the seventh day the mooring line broke and no rescue seemed possible any longer. The list was by now with an angle of eighty degrees, the hatches were under water and no longer tight.
I left the ship. It sank at 5.10 pm.
* * *
1992. OPHELIA 06:00 mins.
She did it with a coloured boy.
Recipe N. A statement. The ingredients and the procedure for a medicament or a dish.
She danced around an armchair counting the afternoon erections.
She – and laughing.
Her recipe C) Diesel-gas-piston.
White boy waiting.
His laughter D) Diesel-gas-piston
- Jointed, seasoned and finely sliced.
- Finely chopped.
- Afternoon erections jointed and seasoned.
1 Oz combustible.
1 Tbs urine.
¼ Pt soured.
1 Tbs plain.
White boy cried out ”Engine.”
White boy cried out ”Afternoon erection.”