the picture is still | 2001-2002
Akira Ikeda Gallery
May 19, 2001-May 18, 2002
Materials: projected video image, steel grid, thread, charcoal, video with sound, speakers
In a munitions building with a central two chamber tunnel used to load torpedoes onto warships during WWII, the picture is still takes its names from what is still - unmoving - and from a historical past haunting and inhabiting a present - still here. From the ceiling, Hamilton suspended a density of 130,000 charcoal sticks. As requested by the artist, this project was created with the help of local volunteers. It took 20 days and 600 people to complete the installation, which is 15 meters in width, 27 meters, long, and 4 meters high.
Projected onto the steel doors at the end of the warship-loading tunnel were two identical videos playing simultaneously, though not in sync.
The video was made with a miniature surveillance video camera held in the hand that traced across a black and white photograph of a child's face with an open mouth, the movement rendering the image dimensional in the attempt to return time to its fixed moment. One track of the video's sound is a recording of Hamilton's voice describing in a whisper what can be seen in the video, while a second track features the slowed-down attempts of the child in the photograph learning how to whistle.
Photo credit: Thibault Jeanson / Ann Hamilton