Grip’s Evermore and Other (Word) Landscapes

Creative Work
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Description (in English): 

In the video, Grip's Evermore, words become landscape - in a black and white and infinite internal terrain, text defines the horizon and flattens space. It is code or a pretty pattern signifying nothing.  Destinations from literature or mythology which express a concept or still resonant cliché (like a shared longing; or home) flash in a white horizon line in the dark, providing a break from the monotony or frustration, a lucky break, a break in time and psychic space, a sudden expanse.  Named after Charles Dickens' pet raven, the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, artificially animated, crude and poignant like early movie monsters, cumbersome in body, a bird earthbound and relentless, Grip struggles through familiar destinations -- of the city, of stories and poems and inner journeys' ends, destinations of imagination and aspiration, in line but boundless as the fancies of flightless birds.  Grip's depicts a perpetual motion of longing and the dissonance between body and mind, the material and immaterial, here in immaterial digital form; and explores the way the meanings and associations of these words change and are changed by their context, form, space, motion and speed, through digital technology and the imagination.  Speed conflates meaning and animates the text; motion offers an illusion of liberating space and liberation. The video piece is also an experiment in randomness - edited through spontaneous bursts of play backwards and forwards, relinquishing Grip's fate and free will, a release and relief from the burdens of self-determination, the weight of self-control.  Starting and stopping, teasing promises fleeting and out of grasp, random and chaotic as a game of chance, laid bare to interpretation and yearning ascribed by familiarity or pure imagination, these landscapes of shared memory or isolation are personalized or perverted - Tom All Alone's is Tom's All Alone.  Lost in this darkness and distance, through Wuthering Heights and London Fields, The Hundred Acre Wood and Watership Down, Paradise and Paradise Lost, Eastbound and Unbound, naked and vulnerable, a tragicomic trope of slapstick and cartoons, our hero persists in his epic stuttered journey, animated through a flashing pattern of signs and sign posts in a workaday world, Grip's daily grind, a velocity fueled by hope, going home.

 In the sound piece, Revir Noom, Moon River’s longing, iconic promise flows in a melancholy reverse tide.  The lyrics of the song, portraying a yearning for escape and transformation - a dream of self-determination, of escaping one's original nature as embodied and fulfilled by Holly in Truman Caopte's Breakfast at Tiffany's, here retain a memory of their original narrative while torn from it in a digital reworking.  A bit of dialogue and the song, sung by Audrey Hepburn in the1961 movie based on the novella, are re-recorded backwards with minimal processing. By this simple process, the song makes a complete transformation: with its own distinct melody and arrangement. language and meaning, a current pulling forward (now dragging backward) as the piece ends with Holly (or Lulamae) not so much singing as swallowing her own words.

 As in Revir Noom, in the sound piece, Echolullia, digitally altered sounds, though unrecognizable as the words they once were and exposing a kind of alienation (of the words from themselves, as Holly from Lulamae) they form a language at once hermetic and intelligible through their collective role making up the whole, and through their familiarity: breath, sighs, sounds with a particular cadence. It is particularly effective, I believe, for the themes in these two pieces to be expressed by women. The interrupted, cut short, detached bits of the stories in the lullabies or novella in some sense reflect a detachment of women's voices and the modes of expression traditionally expected or not expected of them – they were not expected to have anything intelligible or of import to say, believed not to have the same capacity to contribute to discourse, literature or political speech as men, women's voices were heard in hushed tones (like the lull of lullabies), in sighs and hums and moans, gasping or singing, breath for comfort. The bits of words in these pieces are moving for what they imply and for their familiarity - in these ways, in spite of and through their electronic obliterations, the words and their expressions are clear.  

 Echolullia is a chorus of lullabies - beautiful and broken, here they represent the psychic violence of genocide - as songs to soothe and prayers for safety, lullabies are intimate evocations of what’s lost in these ravages of violence.  Made in commemoration of the anniversary of Krystal Nacht and on the theme of genocide, it features recorded words severed, moribund technology twisted, and human voices manipulated to mimic sirens and warfare in a three-part choir of tenderness and derangement. Named after "echolalia", a term describing sounds babies make to mimic those they’ve heard, echo (sonic repetition) is used in the piece to represent this mimicry, the multitude of voices, serial killing in war and a corruption of time, an aftermath of violence resonating outward in ruptures of the psyche passed on through generations. A chaos of loss remains in every lull and lullaby, it's there in every breath. 



Echolulliia (Hilda Daniel)

Echolullia (Hilda Daniel) - sound work

Revir Noom (Hilda Daniel)

Revir Noom - sound work
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Record posted by: 
Vian Rasheed