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Graduation-exhibition from the Oslo Art Academy (2000)

Stenersen Museum, Mai 2000.

Installation wordplay
Parrot Installation
Working table Lost horizon

 

   

The exhibition was an installation in three parts: “Parrot rented for 18 hours”, (video, 12 minutes), “Scrabble with 12 words”, (table with laminated cardboard-pieces), and “Horizon-Machine”. (Working-table with alphabetical sorting-shelf, chair, lamp, drawings on the wall, books and papers.)

 

The installation revolves around communication and translation; both between languages and medias.

In the video a man (me) is trying to teach a (not very motivated) parrot a sentence from “North by northwest”, by Hitchcock.


The scene is a telephone-conversation between a kidnapper imitating someone he isn`t, and his prey who`s identity has been mistaken by the villain. The sentence uttered: It`s only last night, and still you do not recognize my voice... There is a parallel from the situation in the film, to the setting of the video: In order for a parrot to respond to a human by speaking, it has to “mistake” it`s owner/ teacher for a (parrot) mate.Ttime is to short and the sentence to long, but the man keep trying all night and into the morning, getting tired and frustrated, but also closer to the bird. His desperate persistence is meant to appear both comic and pathetic.

 

The scrabble-game consists of the words from the Hitchcock-sentence. It is arranged on the table as if four people have played, forming new sentences. One of them have made small statements, the second is questioning everything, the third is aggressive, and the forth is in love.

 

 



The Horizon-machine is another demanding task trying to achieve an impossible goal. This text supplemented the installation:

 

THE HORIZON MACHINE

The Novel ”Lost horizon” was translated to Norwegian as Tapte horisonter (“Lost Horizons”). For some reason one (lost) horizon had turned into plural.


Where did all these new horizons come from? Could they have been discovered between the lines, or in the gap between the English and Norwegian Language? Did the translator discover them there while transporting the text over to the other side, but were unable hold on to his discovery? If this is the case, the outcome was an even greater loss.

 

This is an attempt to rediscover these horizons. No map exists, and there is no recipe, the translator died without leaving a clue. But there must be a way to do it. Maybe like this:

 

All the pages of both the English and the Norwegian edition of Lost Horizon(s) are copied onto coloured paper. One tone of blue for the English version, another for the Norwegian. Each page are cut into sentences, sorted alphabetically, and stacked into The Horizon machine. Inside the languages are mixed, - the ratio will vary from letter to letter. Hopefully we will hit the perfect ratio at some point. Then the two tones of blue will blend together perfectly, start to sparkle, and a formerly invisible horizon will appear in the hatch of the relevant letter. If nothing happens, try harder. Sentences could be cut into letters.