Towards the shaman (cyclope; 1, 2, 3)
Servie Janssen, 1973, 13'32''

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It is light outside – but the room where this videotaped performance takes place, is darkened, and the blinds are down. It’s actually so dark that the camera registers only shapes and movements, which stand out against the light that finds its way through the slits of the window blinds. A man with long hair and a small lamp attached to his forehead moves in front of the windows, apparently dancing to rhythmic music while bending forward. In ‘part one’, his silhouette looks like that of an animal; his hair takes on the shape of a bird's beak. ‘Part two’ brings him right in front of the camera, moving back and forth. Here, the lamp on his forehead functions as an eye – the single eye of a cyclops. ‘Part three’ is a close-up. The lamp, still a cclops’ eye, is filmed from nearby and creates a trail of light when moved. As in long-exposure photographs, the light becomes liquid and flexible. It seems as if the performer is writing the letters of the alphabet with light onto the screen. This whole video is like a ritual, a transgressive sequence of intuitive movements and sounds. It plays with the limitations of human shape and western conventions.

Netherlands Media Art Institute, Anna Hoetjes

  • Date: 1973
  • Length: 13'32''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: performance (artwork genre)
  • Keywords: registration (technique), religion, body, light, culture, third world/non-western culture, dance (subject), mythology, movement