Couplett
Rafael MontaƱez Ortiz, 1986, 4'56''

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'In my video work, I seek to suspend time, to magnify beyond all proportion the fantasy, dream, or nightmare I glimpse in even the most realistic straightforward documentary footage, in even the most innocent storyline.' (Rafael Montanez Ortiz). Montanez Ortiz' working method consists of appropriating one segment of just a few seconds of an old movie or musical recording that he transfers onto a laser disc so that he can use a computer to manipulate the 'frames' and sound to optimal effect. This results in a new and longer work in which the frames of the original film are exposed, re-arranged and sometimes repeated. This 'deconstructivist' method not only allows Ortiz to reveal an apparently complete and completed moment or to reconstruct it as a new and complx story with different temporal and psychological dimensions, it also enables him to elicit fresh meaning from that moment. For instance, in 'The Kiss', Ortiz' 'reconstruction through deconstruction' leads to a five-minute clip in which a kiss as an action and as the result of a frame of mind is shown to be a lengthy process of attraction and rejection, approach and withdrawal. 'Couplett' consists of images of a male and a female opera singer; Ortiz has transformed their original duet into a completely new performance of an alternative and jarring composition. Montanez makes apparently seamless and supple images seem shaky and uncertain, so that a single moment seems to last for an eternity. Read more...

  • Date: 1986
  • Length: 4'56''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: poetry, appropriation, scratch
  • Keywords: deconstruction, music (subject), time