[M]Other Tongue

Video Installation, Customs 2007

The House of Customs in Mondorf-les-Bain, Luxembourg / France, actually consists of two houses, slightly apart from each other, joined under one roof. The border cuts through the gap between the houses, the opened middle part. Each house has a front window facing the road in either Luxembourg or France. My installation consists of projecting two videos symmetrically on each of the front windows of the house(s).  I will use a semitransparent, milky white projection foil as a projection ground. It shall be attached to all glass surfaces so that it builds a kind of a skin, dividing the inside from the outside of the house(s).

The video to be projected will show an enlarged recording of a speaking mouth. In a kind of zoom movement the camera will change its position from the outside to the inside of the mouth. The normal camera recordings will then be replaced by recordings made by a special endoscopy camera (developed for medical purposes). I now suppose that simple words like yes, no, maybe, perhaps, open, or close, will be enough to demonstrate the idea, although this may of course be a subject of change within the production process. Such an endoscopy camera has being offered to me in order to produce this work.

The project addresses the issue of a border in several ways. First, the division of the two videos over two separate surfaces implies the border of possibility, since one will never be able to view both projections simultaneously. Second, we imagine "entering" an "other" space by passing a borderline. I believe to have found a strong metaphor for this in the image of a camera passing through the boundary of the body, while entering the space of the speaking mouth.

At this stage I do not intend to use any sound. I somehow hope it would be possible "to read" the lips or the tongue. Most of the people passing by will anyway look at it out of their driving cars.

The Installation should only run for a couple of "dark" hours. During the day, one can only view the white foil-packed space.

The rhythm of the video will be determined by the speed of speaking, the speed of editing - between the outside and the inside cuts, as well as by a movement of the speaking person turning the head slightly in the left-right direction.

Technical Supply
2 DVD Player
2 Video Beams
A Back-Projection Foil
(white, semi-transparent)0