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Stretch

Eva Koch’s public sculptures often take the form of buried elements that surface, suggesting a world or process hidden below the ground. For TRACE she has made a video installation based on an experience she had in Bombay. There is a mosque situated on a rocky island that can only be accessed by means of a narrow causeway to the mainland... Stretch is a video installation first produced in 1998. On a thin line – a narrow causeway extended between sky and sea – human figures walk and walk from left to right. An abrupt cut, and they reverse direction. Their passage is not without risk. Powerful waves are constantly crashing on the mole, sweeping over it and the walkers. Individual features cannot be distinguished; they are groups in movement, from which now and again an individual figure detaches itself. They walk and walk and while the energy with which they are moving seems to tell of a goal at the end, we never see it. What is behind is lost; we can only guess at what lies ahead. The mole, which is at times visible, at times covered in water, is a transition, a place of passage connecting two places. The mole is also an interval: a gap between here and there. The sound is a vital part of Stretch. It is artificial noise, with elements that mime real sounds. It shifts between being synchronous and asynchronous. Suddenly the steps of the walking male figure – which the eye cannot help but follow because it has separated itself from the others – become audible. For an instant sound and image match, but then the white noise increases and the synchronicity is gone. There is sound like that of an enormous wave, but it is it not the sound of the sea. It is an enormous wave of white noise. We hear a muttering chorus of voices, but they are not human voices, and they are moving in the opposite direction to the figures whose voices they might be. The deep bass sound gives body to the immaterial video pictures. Sound and image are two abstract elements that our perception automatically tries to link in order to form a meaningful, but actually fictive reality.

Date

24 September – 07 November 1999