Thursday, July 14, 2011

kitchen drive

Dicky's work challenges me. In last year, much of it has become performance-based, which is to say that his participation (e.g. projecting slides, playing recorded sound, etc.) has become part of the work. He'll usually leave some elements to chance, rendering each performance unique.

Generally, these performances are long. If he's projecting film, it's not edited. The camera is handheld and sometimes it's out of focus. If he's projecting slides, there are a lot of them, projected for varying durations. The images are often scenes that I find unpleasant: Phoenecian landscapes, the meeting of desert and concrete. If a score accompanies, it is tape-recorded and tinny, projected from a single speaker cassette player, and it often sounds like noise: random sounds, snippets of conversation, rustling, breathing, etc.

Everything about it is defiantly analog. It's raw and without technical sophistication. It tests my patience, and that's part of the point, but it doesn't make the experience any less uncomfortable.

A recent six-hour performance featured the re-creation of a roadtrip in someone's kitchen on a Monday afternoon. I wasn't there. Dicky sat at the kitchen table, projecting slides, drinking coffee, playing his score, making conversation with those who had come to watch and who had become, unwittingly, his roadtrip companions. Some of the images were from trips we'd taken together -- of note, our annual holiday ride to Phoenix, on the I-10 across the most bleak stretches of the Sonoran Desert. I hate that six-hour drive, but I appreciate his rendition of it. Particularly in the form of a six-minute clip where INXS kicks in toward the end.

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