Installations

Performers: Stefaan Loncke and Ine Pieters, videoart: Geert Wachtelaer
Project with support of the Flemish Government.
This is an installation about transgression, identity, norms and perception.

black noise . white noise is about the tension between presence and absence, and about what lies beyond norms and cultural constructions which set the boundaries to a supposedly liveable, social life; about what escapes normative systems. Even when these norms are meant to protect and to create liveable circumstances, they have something suffocating about them. A subject who feels this, often tries to answer some kind of inner call to reach beyond and transgress these boundaries, even at the cost of a safe or ‘normal’ life.

--visiting the installation :

The visitor to the installation is welcomed by the warmth of infra red lamps. These lights are used in breeding cages to simulate the warmth of the mother.
It’s the protective warmth which becomes suffocating and uneasy when you remain too long and too close to the lamps. It’s the warmth we loose when growing up, and which we seek in others. The red light might as well stand for passion.

Once this bed of warmth is passed, the visitor enters a dark space. No lamps emit light here: no action is undertaken to define the surroundings, no borders are visible: in the dark, one object doesn’t visually differ from another. In this dark space, absence rules.

The left wall shows 9 projections, positioned in a Pythagorean triangle.
4 images on the vertical axis show a male subject. 4 on the horizontal axis a female subject.
They are holding symbolic objects of transgression, in a way that reminds of the old devotional images of saints and martyrs. The classic printmakers, used the same cliché for the images of the different martyrs, and printed their attribute of their death as a separate layer in order to define the identity of the martyr. Thus, the objects by which they were killed (because they didn’t comply to the ruling norms) have become objects of their identity.
In the installation, the male and female series hold attributes of personal transgression of norms. The transgressional drive is a reference to identity.

On the diagonal axis (sublimation of the 2 other axis which are each others opposite, being a corner of 90°), the female and male subject return as each others object of transgression.
Both try to remove the cultural conditionings (constructs, ties), represented as ropes around the head. They want to reach beyond, and when they succeed, they encounter the black noise… absence.
They can only develop new terminology, new constructions and with that, the process begins anew.

As was said, this dark space is about absence. The idea of presence and absence is also represented in the imaging of the male and female subject. From birth, the sex is determined by presence of absence of the penis. Presence is linked to masculinity, absence to femininity, as if to say that femininity has to be build up, constructed. By portraying the male and female subject from the waist, the visual play of presence has changed towards the woman. When grown up, the presence of breasts become a symbol of femininity.

On the opposite wall, another projection shows a male and female sex in a continuous flow of approach and withdrawal. Where coitus supposed to be the answer, something staggers. Unity and fulfilment is the goal here, absence to become presence, and at the point where everything should comply, where presence would dominate absence, white noise appears. Theories, norms, settings, constructions, are not allowed to fit when it would mean final fulfilment or a perfect state in which the subject is dissolved in unity.

The installation is supported by a soundscape, which contains tensions as a result of the Pythagorean issues concerning the division of the musical scale. The issue of the Pythagorean comma, is an example on how our western culture is faced with an immeasurable reality. In our western world, the musical Pythagorean scale is one of the earliest argumentations by number, in stead of by use of words… and it fails to capture nature: what escapes, is referred to as the Pythagorean comma.
circumstances, they have something suffocating about them. A subject who feels this, often tries to answer some kind of inner call to reach beyond and transgress these boundaries, even at the cost of a safe or ‘normal’ life.
infra red lights, 10 projections, soundscapevisiting the installation The visitor to the installation is welcomed by the warmth of infra red lamps. These lights are used in breeding cages to simulate the warmth of the mother.
It’s the protective warmth which becomes suffocating and uneasy when you remain too long and too close to the lamps. It’s the warmth we loose when growing up, and which we seek in others. The red light might as well stand for passion.

Once this bed of warmth is passed, the visitor enters a dark space. No lamps emit light here: no action is undertaken to define the surroundings, no borders are visible: in the dark, one object doesn’t visually differ from another. In this dark space, absence rules.

The left wall shows 9 projections, positioned in a Pythagorean triangle.
4 images on the vertical axis show a male subject. 4 on the horizontal axis a female subject.
They are holding symbolic objects of transgression, in a way that reminds of the old devotional images of saints and martyrs. The classic printmakers, used the same cliché for the images of the different martyrs, and printed their attribute of their death as a separate layer in order to define the identity of the martyr. Thus, the objects by which they were killed (because they didn’t comply to the ruling norms) have become objects of their identity.
In the installation, the male and female series hold attributes of personal transgression of norms. The transgressional drive is a reference to identity.

On the diagonal axis (sublimation of the 2 other axis which are each others opposite, being a corner of 90°), the female and male subject return as each others object of transgression.
Both try to remove the cultural conditionings (constructs, ties), represented as ropes around the head. They want to reach beyond, and when they succeed, they encounter the black noise… absence.
They can only develop new terminology, new constructions and with that, the process begins anew.

As was said, this dark space is about absence. The idea of presence and absence is also represented in the imaging of the male and female subject. From birth, the sex is determined by presence of absence of the penis. Presence is linked to masculinity, absence to femininity, as if to say that femininity has to be build up, constructed. By portraying the male and female subject from the waist, the visual play of presence has changed towards the woman. When grown up, the presence of breasts become a symbol of femininity.
On the opposite wall, another projection shows a male and female sex in a continuous flow of approach and withdrawal. Where coitus supposed to be the answer, something staggers. Unity and fulfilment is the goal here, absence to become presence, and at the point where everything should comply, where presence would dominate absence, white noise appears. Theories, norms, settings, constructions, are not allowed to fit when it would mean final fulfilment or a perfect state in which the subject is dissolved in unity.

The installation is supported by a soundscape, which contains tensions as a result of the Pythagorean issues concerning the division of the musical scale. The issue of the Pythagorean comma, is an example on how our western culture is faced with an immeasurable reality. In our western world, the musical Pythagorean scale is one of the earliest argumentations by number, in stead of by use of words… and it fails to capture nature: what escapes, is referred to as the Pythagorean comma.
Stefaan Loncke, Ine Pieters and Geert Wachtelaer ©2008

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