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If you are tied to someone else and he or she is tied to you, you will have to find a balance, you will have to move to the same rhythm, adjust to each other. We are all familiar with the children’s game in which you have to run a race with one leg tied to someone else’s. In this video, this three-legged race is turned into a metaphor for the vulnerability of ‘relationships’ in adult life.
Two men, tied to each other by one leg, are standing in front of a wall in an empty room. They are standing there like a couple of drowsy drunks, swaying to and fro with their arms around one anothers shoulders. At first sight, an endearing scene of friendship; they are literally holding each other up. But there is a twist in the tail. The men are gazing half-fearfu…ly into the camera. This is mounted right behind a tennis-ball gun, which is rotating at random and firing balls at them.
One man alone would easily be able to avoid the balls, but now that these two are tied together, such factors as dependence and co-operation come into play. To start with, things are fine, and now and then the two gaze into the camera with a look of ‘come on then’. But they quickly grow tired, and are met by some vicious direct hits. The last semblance of the tough-guy guise slowly disappears, and the two turn into bungling anti-goalkeepers. And when the clumsiest of the two seems to give up, and makes himself as small as he can with his hands on his head, it becomes a sorry sight. The other man refuses to give up and, in this ‘every man for himself’ situation, his friend literally becomes a dead weight. (Jaap Vinken, Martinen van Kampen)