Mouth Piece

A video by Gary Hill. Made in 1978.

“Using a fictional interactivity of the artist’s body on the image, Mouthpiece is a humorous simulation of a performance video. A black and white recording is superimposed on a series of pictures. The simulation of action is produced by this transparency and the effect of reality given by the recording in real time.

The fiction is constructed along the lines of turning fantasy into derision. A series of identical mouths – red, pulpous lips — files past in a column. A recording of the artist’s mouth appears in the background, kissing the images. But the rate at which the series files past accelerates, in defiance of the kiss, which can no longer land on the pictures. The artist then reacts by pursing his lips and blowing out a “brbrbr” sound, which seems to make the pictures file past even faster, mixing them up, as if the sound waves had taken over the very substance of the image. Confronted with this playful lunacy, the artist sticks out his tongue in a humorous onomatopoeia of disgust. Then, these sequences file past a second time. These three phases give a real time simulation of the interaction between two levels of the image and between sound and image.

The mouth was a recurring subject, in various approaches to communication, in videos in the 70’s: In Primary (1978), Gary Hill breaks down the mouth’s movements during the articulation of the words “blue, red, green”. In Lip Sync (1969), Bruce Nauman plays with the synchronisation of the images of lips and the voice off by the repetition of the title. In Open Book (1974), Vito Acconci invites spectators to enter his wide-open mouth.” – Thérèse Beyler

via Maternal Hopi

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One thought on “Mouth Piece

  1. ralph lichtensteiger says:

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