Bruce Nauman


I want to at least make a short note-blog-post about Bruce Nauman. I saw some of his video installations at an exhibition last year at Copenhagen Contemporary.

Ludwig Wittgenstein:

Michael Craig Martin

Last year I read the book “On being an artist” of Miceal Craig Martin and during my project, he has inspired me deeply. Initially, it was Johnathan who mentioned him to me. We talked about his method of collecting his own drawings and using them for different artworks.
I read his book, it has a short clear and strong introduction to his art, art history and his experiences teaching in art. I love reading the book.

This sentence, among others, had been in my mind:
Don’t try to be too inventive. The more your art reflects you, the more it will speak to other people. If you are not sure what you should do, just do whatever comes into your head or catches your imagination. Gradually, it will lead you to where you should be. Making art is a path not a destination.

My artwork at final exhibition

It turned out that the mysterious suitcase became a key element in the video installation I have been making for the final show. The suitcase has a role as a base from where things can occur it is here words and images are covered.
The suitcase is a Objet Trouvé (found object), it triggered my curiosity that the former owner was the surrealistic artist Wilhelm Freddie. It started my research and my imagination. The suitcase was empty when I found it like it was ready for a new journey.

For me it is not just a suitcase, it is a symbol of travelling and collecting at the same time. For two years I had been on a travel collecting dreams in form of visual notes transformed into images. The stack of images is now to find in the suitcase. More to find inside the suitcase is a list of 134 words listed in alphabetic order. The words are a result of translating the images and my memories of the dreams into words.
The list is my vocabulary, it is the pool of words I have used for making my poems, except You are not allowed to dance with a scissor, it is a clear sentence from a dream.
The last thing in the suitcase is a projector looping a sequence of a young boy with closed eyes in front of the ocean.

Build into the plinth where the suitcase is placed is a projector which projects a video sequence on the wall.
My video is to explore as fragmentation of many stories, it is not a narrative, but a universe/space of emotion and tension. It is like in dreams; a mix of random elements.
I worked with split screens to create the effect of montage – combine one image to another to generate new meaning or feeling.
The voice replacement sequences are meant to touch the expectation of the viewer and play with gender, age and time.
An old man having a young girls voice underlines the idea; that in dreams; you can be young or old, boy or girl, man or women – the dreamer plays all the roles.
The duration of a dream go very fast, but the experience of a dream last longer. By repeating words and sentences, I expand the scene/the message, and it became absurd and surreal – it feels like it takes out the meaning of the words and let the viewer focus on the rhythm, the environment and the tension.

According to the sound; I were looking at the dream-images and tried to remember feelings and tension and transformed it into sound. The audio in the video is a mix of those recordings, sometimes edit in a rhythm, sometimes just as an atmosphere layer to create a space outside the screen and sometimes to create a feeling of proximity.
It is not my intention to create recognizably sound except from human voices and the contrabass.

All the actors and people behind the voices are all from my close family, You sense a cohesion that reinforces the idea that they all could be the same person.

On the wall close to the projecting are at the left side two printed images from the dream You are not allowed to dance with a scissor.
On the other side of the projecting is the whole conversation between the two characters of the same dream but in the video. It is a visual typographic interpretation.

I translated dreams into visual statements by using the strategy of collage and fragmentation.

Setting up my project

Light is my new enemy, it is hard to show a video installation in a room with light coming in from a huge window and electric light turned on. My LED projector is not strong enough. I have to think everything over.

We tried other projectors and a screen. The screen is out even it creates the best picture, but it pushes the project in a wrong direction with ist hard and closed frame. The Epson projector seems to be the best solution picture wise, it is not perfect but it handles to have enough light on a larger scale. But the Epson is too big to stay inside the suitcase and it needs air. There is space enough under the plinth, if I put it there I have to cut a hole in the side of the plinth.
Another idea is to project inside the suitcase with the little LED projector. It looks interesting in a way. Spectators have to look inside one by one to see the sequence which could be good but also annoying because of the length of the sequence.
Having the video inside could drag the attention from the other things in the suitcase; the words and the stack of pictures.

I have to think about the tension and idea of the whole story of my artwork. Initial I wanted to create a physical experience; having a big projecting, loud sound and a private suitcase showing fragments of the methods.

Still not there..

Breaker for my video sequence

I am making a video sequence for the final show. The sequence contains fragmented elements from the entire Dream-image-project. I needed to split up the shots where people are talking: For that, I created breakers which in sound and image made a change like a new chapter starting.
In this breaker, the sound comes from my father-in-law plays a saw. The saw has no melody, it sounds like a warning. It is an amazing instrument. Listening to the recordings with headphone is like being inside the tone, I have the feeling that the tones are making a space – very intense.

Preparing exhibition installation

I decided to remove the protective paper from the inside of the suitcase (had a little hope to find something unexpected). I want to make a contrast between the inside and the outside of the suitcase.  The with colour is meant to make a more simple and light space.


At the same time, I’m testing and adjusting my video material. The new projector seems to be a good solution. It is able to make a 2,5 m image at a distance of 2 m. There is a lot of settings possibilities I have to find out, also which video compression is the best. I probably have to make to versions; one for the projector and one for Vimeo.

My poem had become an important part of my entire project. I made some experiments combining words and images, but I like the clean example below.




Voice replacement

I made new recordings, but it is still a kind of test. I’m testing the sound and the animation elements. I don’t want to disturb the voice or the acting. I like that the atmosphere expands the room; something is going on in the background. A lot of the sound is not planned; for example, while recording sound from a dog there are licking his paw, I got traffic sound in the background. I like to explore the sound after recording, there is always something unplanned which are useful.