The film explores the space within a 1:50 model reconstruction of Bruce Nauman’s “Double Doors – Projection and Displacement” (1973) as re-installed in 1990 for the “Un Choix D’art Minimal Dans La Collection Panza” exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. A single photograph of the installation and a reproduction of the accompanying text, each published in separate books, provide the entirety of information about the original, transient artwork in order to translate it into the new forms of model and film. The text, itself an instruction to the viewer, emphasises that this spatial installation is designed to be experienced by an embodied viewer, over a period of time – the film of the scaled model reconstruction of the installation generates a parallel, analogous experience for its viewer. The film serves as a performance of the textual instructions as the camera repeatedly attempts to move forwards into the model space and its enfilade of rooms. The film’s viewer is also encouraged to perform the textual instructions, yet is perpetually held back, rigidly separated from the space beyond both by the impermeable threshold of the screen, as well as the scale differential between their own body and the scaled model space. An ever-slowing inverse sine wave provides a discomforting accompaniment to the uncanny imagery of the model space. This constructed sound, like the visibly (re)constructed space, affects the viewer, simultaneously engaging and repelling them into and out of the projected space.
In writing up the Nauman Double Doors reconstruction model project for my thesis I reviewed the edits I had already made from the footage, and re-looked at the footage itself. I realised that the attempts filming with my iPhone moving within the model were actually more successful than I had previously considered (I had discounted using this footage in previous edits and instead used the material filmed with the Yi Action camera).
I had constructed a foam-board “dolly” with a ball bearing base to hold the camera steady and allow smooth movement, and then utilised the iPhone’s slow motion feature to record footage while moving the camera. This slow motion recording provided a much smoother motion than was possible by attempting to move the camera slowly. When reviewing the footage to consider which version of a particular movement might be the most successful I realised that all had some valuable quality, and the repeated attempts were actually a feature which I used in the edit.
The repetitions of a movement towards the door openings echoed the instructions that had accompanied the original exhibition. They became a version of the viewer’s imagined action, projecting first their imagined body through into the next space, following through with their actual body.
The footage is composed as single, diptych and triptych arrangements, depending on the type of movement and the location inside the model. The model imagery is interspersed with Nauman’s accompanying instructions for the original installation. Sound is used to differentiate between the model imagery and the textual instructions. The model imagery is accompanied by an inverse sine wave (referencing Snow’s sine wave soundtrack to Wavelength), created on Adobe Audition [with an amplitude of -19.2, a frequency of 2466, and a multiplier of 1.0]. This audio file is used at a series of different speeds, starting at 400% and slowing to 10%. When several clips appear side by side on screen the sine wave is overlaid with itself, but slightly offset so that an extra layer of frequency interference occurs. The sections with text have silence, releasing the viewer momentarily from the slightly claustrophobic space of the model.