High up on a cliff on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal, there is a disused public building, the old Palais de Justice. It was built during the last years of French colonial occupation and for more than quarter of a century has ceased functioning as the civil and criminal court it once was. It forms the core of the video installation that reflects on the building itself, its erstwhile function as well as wider issues and associations such as the nature of memory, historical contextualisation, biographical recollections and record keeping as a means of imposing and maintaining control of a (colonial) population.
The 4-channel video installation uses two, back-to-back screens (projections) and two monitors. In addition there is a text (in the form of a roller, in German or English) to be projected on a white wall or large monitor. This enters into a complex relationship with the video material in the form of documentary reference and visual association.
The concept entails that the sound be at room and calibrated so that sound sectors are created which surround one video whilst bleeding into the physical space of its immediate neighbour at a much reduced level. Since all four videos have elements such as waves, traffic noise, wind etc. in common, the individual sounds track coalesce into one which changes according to the viewer’s position in the room.
Further text material:
- Cap Manuel Book – Wieser Verlag, Klagenfurt
- Text roller video (English) – Vimeo
- Text roller video (German) – Vimeo
Cap Manuel, 2008 · Category: Installations, Texts/CD/DVD-R Tags: architecture, biographical recollections, colonial record keeping, oral vs written history