Circles. You may find yourself.
The Collector of pictures had begun to live very much in seclusion; he had locked himself in and started living among his pictures. He simply needed his suitcases about, and I suspected that he – when feeling unobserved – would sometimes shrink and sneak inside. If you needed a favor from him, you would have to come straight up to him. This was simply the way it was, and one had grown accustomed to this situation. It was impossible to convince him to leave his place to meet in a café or some such other social gathering place. On my last visit, he had talked about collecting pictures and about BILDFANG(*). BILDFANG – the word alone got him excited. BILDFANG is, incidentally, a technical contrivance found in any monitor. So when I visited him today, he told me, smilingly, that he had unleashed the BILDFANG. I stepped into the large circle, arranged of 13 monitors. The screens were facing each other. In the center, there was enough space for me to move about freely and that section of the installation was also illuminated. When I had reached the center of the circle, the monitors suddenly came to life. There I was running circles around myself. No matter how I turned, the images always moved counterclockwise. I must have passed myself about a thousand times until, finally, he liberated me. He then explained to me the secret of the circle: He had set up a camera which transmitted my picture to another monitor outside of the circle. On this monitor the BILDFANG was set loose. Therefore, the monitor kept losing my image, which would always drift towards the left side of the screen, swoop, swoop, swoop, immediately reappearing on the right side after having escaped. A second camera sent my image to the 13 monitors that made up the circle. This brought to my mind memories of a hall of mirrors, where, for the first time in my life, I had felt dislocated, had somehow been beyond the mirrors and not quite within myself. But in comparison this electronic cabinet proved much more one-dimensional, empty, and desolate; No matter where I looked, there were many multiples of one rendering of myself, dancing round and round me like some ecstatic witch – disappearing – reappearing – disappearing – reappearing – on and on… By moving about, I had offered the camera a different part of my body; for a moment it was just my back, then my profile. My reflection had stepped out in front of me, mocking me by ignoring its progenitor and paying attention to its own new-gained dynamics only, no longer bound to its origin. The Collector of Pictures was pleased at having been able to fool the BILDFANG. He called this game “holy circle,” a game designed to dissociate (detach) the image from its source.
Excerpt from notes taken by C.
(*) BILDFANG: vertical hold: the mechanism responsible for keeping the picture centered on the screen correctly – If you have ever experienced the picture wandering up and coming in again on the lower part of the screen, then you’ve experienced a misguided BILDFANG. If translated verbatim, BILDFANG means “picture trap”, or “catching the picture”. Unfortunately, there is no english translation which also entails this nice image of catching a picture, which I find is important in the context of this text and shouldn’t get lost due to language barriers. So you’ve learned a new word and have gained insight in the difficulties of translation [the translator].
This video explains how circles is working.
Circles was shown for the first time as part of the exhibition Zeig Dich! at the Zwingli church, Berlin, 25-27 May 2017.
Zeig Dich! Kultur zum Kirchentag, curated by Karin Scheel.
Zwingli-Kirche, Rudolfstraße 14, 10245 Berlin, S und U-Bhf Warschauer Strasse