writing on water : twenty two dreams recalled
An installation for twenty-two 5 meter high DVD projections of variable widths and sixty loudspeakers.
Piece commissioned as part of the "Blauesgold" exhibition at the Gasometer, Oberhausen, 29.sep.2001-28.apr.2002.
This work is a meditation on the properties of water as a metaphor of the states of recall and dreaming and on the inevitability of flux and constant transition. It is realized for twenty-two projections of varying width, and sixty loudspeakers, within the second floor "wheel" of the Gasometer in Oberhausen, Germany.
The Gasometer is a unique structure in which to make a piece of this sort. Its volume has the obvious characteristic of extraordinary height but also has some remarkable textural and acoustic qualities. These had to be carefully considered in the "framing" of the piece.
Moving around the "wheel" of the second floor, each of the twenty-two screens comes into view, but we are never able to see all of them at once. We must continue around the outer ring to reveal variations of texture and perspective in both the water images and the sound. The videos contain texts that portray water as a complex substance. They reveal the ambivalent associations we have with this most crucial of elements.
As the footage of falling water on the screens has been reversed, there is a sense that the floor of the Gasometer is gently falling away with the viewer. The footage of falls was filmed in Iceland and the height of thses particular falls was so great that the falling water atomised as it fell and began to behave like a mist or fog. Sometimes in reverse it seems to behave like smoke rather than water. It is the fact that water can transform through several physical states that connects it as an element to the uncertain worlds of dream and memory.
Oberhausen's former gas tank stands at 117.5 metres tall and has a diameter of 68 metres. Since 1994, it has served as an exhibition space with annually changing installations and as a viewing platform of the surrounding area. In 1999 Christo & Jeanne Claude's installation "The Barrier" was an internal wall formed from 13,000 multicoloured oil barrels. "Blauesgold" ran from oct.2001 and was sponsored by the German Water Board.