Dis-Play (2m 47s excerpt)

1969

b&w, 11 min. sound

Dis-Play (2m 47s excerpt)

1969

b&w, 11 min. sound

 

Display was originally shot as a half -inch videotape in the artist's studio and a kinescope later made from plastic parts of it; the tape included several elements elaborated in the later videotapes.

The set consisted of two six-foot square mirrors propped against opposite walls so that the performers could relate directly to what they were doing in real time. A slide projector focused onto the wall next to one of the mirrors projected white light at half second intervals. occasionally, slides were inserted of activities from previous taping sessions. A large stretched theatrical scrim hung from the ceiling between projection wall and projector, creating a floating screen ( It was the visual effect of this element which suggested to Sonnier the use of large-scale video projections.)

In the kinescope, the scrim works as a light shutter which opens and closes as performers move it up and down. The performers cue their activity to their reflections in the mirrors or their enlarged shadows on the scrim. the combination of scrim and projected white light suggests other spatial dimensions, and the kinescope, which combines different time-sequences from the videotape, plays on the visual and audio ambiguity created by the levels of reflection and projection. An alternation of moods is set up: in some sequences the images are light and diffused ; in the darker spans there are close-ups on more focused movements. The soundtrack (usually music or talk above the sound of the equipment) follows the mood of the activity.

KEITH SONNIER