CNVR09 | 06.05.2006
AKIRA RABELAIS / STEPHAN MATHIEU
Quién Era Aquella Que Te Amó En El Sueño ...
format: DVDR | packaging: discbox slider
duration: 50 minutes, video+audio
limited to 100 numbered copies
As with all of Rabelais' oeuvre, this one is again a deep, fundamental semiotic intrigue - or rather, an indeterable rumble with Aporia; a looking-glass tumble down a dead-end street; a non-stop magic-lantern show with the epic dimensions of the platonic cave-parabel (or of a non-stop erotic cinema program). With only the poet's initiatory words for sustenance one steps into the looking glass - the empty frame - to fall smack in the realm of the blind, unyielding and uni-directional 'drone' of life (whether lived or googled is of no essential consequence within this realm of existence). This movement though is but the substratum of a gentler phenomenology introduced by Mathieu's vibrant search for the minute detail, for the ghost in the machine, adding a new sense of perspective: a sense of the gradual calibration of the moved to the mover. The alien mechanics perpetuating the weaving-loom finally become instances of encounter with oneself - not as in a looking glass, but in an experience of unreflected recognition.
liner notes by Mark Pauwen
I see from the Conv website that this limited edition DVD-R (100 copies) has already sold out, but a little footnote at the bottom of the screen informs us that some copies may still available from the label's distributors. It might be hard to hunt it down, but it's worth the effort. Mathieu handles the music, a slow pan across a beautiful landscape of sustained tones and subtly shifting harmonies. But Akira Rabelais' video is anything but a slow pan: it presents a magic lantern show of some 30,000 images (that's based on my own rough estimate of ten a second; sometimes there seem to be more, and occasionally the slideshow stops temporarily on a shot of what appears to be the surface of the sun). Remember that bit in Yellow Submarine just before they blast off for Pepperland when all those images come thick and fast? Well it's like that – for 49 minutes. Images of almost everything you can think of flash by at breakneck speed: holiday photos, plates of food, film posters, architectural details, lichens and fungi, pottery, paintings by just about anybody from Brueghel to Pollock via Vermeer Turner Monet Renoir Picasso and contact sheets high school yearbooks softporn centrefolds all tits and ass and smiles for the camera stills from Hollywood movies all flashing by at breakneck speed so fast you don't immediately realise that some of the images appear several times like the girl wearing a teeshirt with the words fuck subtlety written across not to mention Sydney Harbour Bridge the Grand Canyon and all the pubs mosques cathedrals interiors exteriors whisky bottles pistols rifles and butterflies. You won't even have time to blink. Not to everyone's taste perhaps (Frans de Waard was decidedly lukewarm over at Vital Weekly), but certainly to mine. Hope you manage to track down a copy.
[ Dan Warburton ]
At first a big questionmark on my face? These two 'bigshots' on a DVD-R? Not a real DVD? But when I stopped watching, listening and experiencing this, I perhaps have a better idea. The image part (there is nothing mentioned as such anywhere, but me thinks: Akira Rabelais = visual, Stephan Mathieu = music) consists of an endless stream of images: flowers, guns, art, architecture, naked girls. A bit like a flicker movie, but slow enough to picture every image and see what it is. But after a while your perception goes down at great length (in my case fatigue). The soundtrack is a dark loud and heavy drone piece. None of the details that these boys are better known for are present. It's certainly interesting to watch for a while, but the entire fifty minutes is a bit too much. The rawness of the work made me think that indeed the DVD-R is the right format for such a more raw and rough work. It's all not too well spend on me.
[ Frans de Waard ]
CON-V EDITION | 2015