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DREAM JOURNEY - 1 canal video

Dream Journey is a visual poem consisting of movie images, music and eight equally long chapters. The work has to be seen in a darkened room. In the beginning the wall filling projecion is black, a title appears and fades away. Then the first image appears: a black and white close shot of an organic surface, that could be skin. The voices of a woman and a man can be heard, half asleep or in hypnosis, being accompanied by soft electronic sounds. 'Did she fall or was she pushed?' is the beginning of Laurie Andersons song Bright Red, a poetic story about desire and threat. With this song the camera zooms back and shows the hand of a men in front of a black background, the hand clutched into a fist. The hand gets smaller and smaller, until a female hand appears in the left corner. She approaches the male fist, which slowly begins to open, until she touches the now half opened hand and the camera begins to zoom in again. The touching line of both hands rotate into the horizontal and fades into the glimmering horizon of an ocean panorama, the sleek line between water and sky. With this subtle transition the music changes, this has the effect of being pulled into another journey.

Dream Journey is a perfectly balanced dialog of music and image – but still its synaesthesia evolved late, since Karina Smigla-Bobinski found Laurie Andersons music when she was cutting the video images. Andersons word-music, sung with this unique cold and at the same time sensual voice over elegance electronic sounds, sings of mysterious beauty in a aural endless space. Dreaming is central in the album Bright Red: surreal images evolve into a apocalyptic metaphor or cryptic hints – just like the video frequencies – that pop up from memory and therefor become more impressive.

Smigla-Bobinskis video images form a fascinating visual equivalent to Andersons music, the videos are slowed down and carried away, and have clear signs of the surreal. This effect is created by the irritating stopping and doubling of the hand sequences, the slight fuzziness or the pale light in the ocean images. The slowness and krass reduction of the videos makes them inner or mental images, that are set aside from normal day rhythms.

The whole composition of Dream Journey is laied out like a wave movement. In both the beginning and the end the hands in front of a black background mark the appearance and disappearance, latter being underlined by the final motive of the swelling light. But this life sign of the wake body awareness reappears at two stages of the movie: In one of the two a hand carries a suitcase, the other shows to sets of hands holding a wallet, that holds the picture of a man carrying a small girl. The man is walking away while the girl looks back into the camera – Images of a goodbye or the beginning of a journey. It is also the memory of such a journey. And inbetween these hand sequences, where the fingers are well rooted into realty, lies water. In form of the ocean sequence, or the water tank, in which red paint drops appear and disolve into colour clouds, or the glass ball that is pushed under the surface and reflects in its core the world outside the water upsidedown, like in a fisheye. Or in the form of sequences, where water is being permeated with air and light – The element is used in Dream Journey as a transcendental medium of movement and change. To grasp it with mere hands is just as impossible as the attempt to transport the dream journeys of the night into the day consciousness.

© Dr. Thomas R. Huber, 2013

Technical Specifications

description > 1 canal video
music > Laurie Anderson
components > DVD player, projector, sound system
duration > 25 min
space > variable
premiere > 2002