Primarily Speaking
Gary Hill, 1981 - 1983, 19'39''

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Hill views this complex tape (which also exists as an installation) as a key to his entire oeuvre. It concerns the relations and interactions between language and image and the viewer's place as both transmitter and receiver. Two small frames filled with a rapid succession of images of apparently ordinary or arbitrary objects and situations are located against a 'test card' background of stripes in changing colours and patterns. At the same time you hear Hill rhythmically recite a text which is sometimes interrupted by a digital tune. It is extremely difficult to follow the images and to listen to the text. You want to discover the relation between the text and the image but it somehow evades you. What is clear is that each spoken syllable results in an editedimage and that that rhythmic editing jumps from the left-hand to the right-hand frame depending on whether the left-hand or the right-hand loudspeaker is being used. Moving the image through text. The images demonstrate the time and space occupied by the words. Is the text directed at you? Or at the images? Who are the 'we' on whose behalf the text is sometimes speaking? We the viewers or the words themselves? In Primarily Speaking you lose yourself in the narrow space that separates word from image... Read more...

  • Date: 1981 - 1983
  • Length: 19'39''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: conceptual
  • Keywords: communication, sound (subject), image