Swinging the Lamp
Badgast, Satellietgroep, Scheveningen, The Netherlands, 2011.
A site-specific audiovisual installation in collaboration with Cristina Ampatzidou.
5 Head phones, five stories of 5 min each, CD audio players, glowing fishing lights, PA stereo system, one channel enviromental sound track. Variable dimensions.
Swinging the lamp is a nautical term describing the narration of sea stories. Referring to lamps slung from the deck head, which swing while at sea. Often used to indicate that the storyteller is exaggerating. Our residency at Badgast has been a 4 weeks field research in which we collected narratives from different people, living and working in Scheveningen. Our guests included a maritime biologist, former fishermen, the local lighthouse guard etc. These local legends, but also real stories, which sometimes surpass any imagination, have been the inspiration for the creation of Thalazee, an imaginary civilization and its history. Thalazee is an island dangerously threatened by the rising sea level. After many efforts to save their land, the inhabitants of Thalazee decide to undergo a series of genetic modifications to adapt to an underwater living. The story of Thalazee infiltrated the collection of local legends, being presented together in an audio installation, inside a complete darkened container. Five headphons were hanging from the sealing, indicated to the public only by a small glowing fishing light. The industrial sound of the local fish auction provided the ambient sound for the container and each story was providing a different historical, emotional and spatial memory immersed in a complete mental space.
This project was made possible with the support of Satellietgroep.