Video (black-and-white; sound)
Original format: U-matic
Running time: 11:30 min.
This piece was originally planned by the artist as a reading for the Viewpoint series at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. “It was an attempt to circumscribe my work in the structure of a reading,” Hill explains. Processual Video is minimal with regards to an “image” but quite complex in terms of the interplay of language and image. In fact, the image as such functions more as a tracking device. On a black screen, a white line slowly rotates on its own axis, seemingly generating a spoken text that refers to itself. Depending on its position, the line gets narrower, then wider, finally dissipating horizontally into thin white strokes. While this is happening, Hill reads a text that triggers associations and wordplays with the precise position and detail of the continuously changing line. As the first-person narrator, he describes various places: snow-covered mountains, the sea, an airport and various processes and actions that refer reflexively to himself, the reader, and to a viewer, “…a passenger in a chair…” On account of the monotone voice and the iconic line repeating its cycle again and again, ‘burning’ itself in, the work has an almost meditative effect.
Gary Hill: Selected Works and catalogue raisonné, edited by Holger Broeker (Wolfsburg: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2002), GHCR 37, pp. 86 - 88.
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