terça-feira, fevereiro 11, 2014

remembering Nancy Holt


Boomerang (1974)

As Holt begins to talk her words are fed back to her through the earphones she wears. Because the apparatus is attached to a recording instrument, there is a slight delay (of less than a second) between her actual locution and the audio-feedback to which she is forced to listen. For the ten minutes of the tape, Holt describes her situation. She speaks of the way the feedback interferes with her normal thought process and of the confusion caused by the lack of synchronism between her speech and what she hears of it. "Sometimes," she says, "I find I can't quite say a word because I hear a first part come back and I forget the second part, or my head is stimulated in a new direction by the first half of the word."
As we hear Holt speak and listen to that delayed voice echoing in her ears, we are witness to an extraordinary image of distraction. Because the audio delay keeps hypostatizing her words, she has great difficulty coinciding with herself as a subject.
It is a situation, she says, that "puts a distance between the words and their apprehension-their comprehension," a situation that is "like a mirror-reflection ... so that I am surrounded by me and my mind surrounds me ... there is no escape."
The prison Holt both describes and enacts, from which there is no escape, could be called the prison of a collapsed present, that is, a present time which is completely severed from a sense of its own past. We get some feeling for what it is like to be stuck in that present when Holt at one point says, "I'm throwing things out in the world and they are boomeranging back ... boomeranging ... eranginging ... anginging." Through that distracted reverberation of a single word-and even word-fragment-there forms an image of what it is like to be totally cut-off from history, even, in this case, the immediate history of the sentence one has just spoken. Another word for that history from which Holt feels herself to be disconnected is 'text'.
- (p.53) Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism by ROSALIND KRAUSS


Marisal Olson - In response to Boomerang (Richard Serra with Nancy Holt) - 2009

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