Unpacking, Singuhr-hœrgalerie, Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, 2009
Photo: Roman März
1800 cardboard boxes, 4 digital projections and audio. Ambient dimensions. Partial views of the installation.
Unpacking is a series of performances for a video/audio installation consisting in the recollection of read, lost and/or loved books, with the subsequent digressions, uncertainties and free associations.The performers wrote titles of books and thoughts/free associations on an overhead projector. While writing, the marker is tipping the acetate on the glass of the projector that, like a light drum, transmits a rhythm like a telegraph.
The four videos were projected on a temporary, new architecture inside the old water reservoir, using almost 2000 shipping boxes for books.
The sounds were amplified from inside the empty boxes, along with a clicking sound that was walking like the hands of a clock in the concentric circles of the water reservoir.
Over the last couple of years I traveled a great deal and I even moved a few times leaving behind, at friends and relatives, cardboard boxes stuffed with books. In Texas, where I lived for few years, I casually started creating a sort of catalogue of these distant bodies. Exercising the effort to remember versus the chaos of memories. My memory, my writing, was creating kaleidoscopic architectures of recollection by writing titles, notes and free association of thoughts. At a certain point, I decided to film my performances with a camera (I had always a clock close to me). At first, the subject of my shots was only the shadow of my hand writing with a felt-tip pen on an overhead projector, then I decided to get other people involved, driven by curiosity and the desire to share with someone else the weight of the immense effort of recollection and their inner voices. In the end, the goal of the installation was to have people reading while someone was writing, at the same time the shadow of the hand disclosed words. Words that were sometimes hidden by mirroring, and the kaleidoscopic effect that were transforming text into a sort of abstract arabesque.