the catalogue: “The Second”, Time Based Art From the Netherlands
2-channel video. black & white.
...In Peter Bogers’ work,
sound and image are equivalent elements, which always determine form and
content in a dynamic interplay. Many of his installations seem to examine the
breaking points between sound-music-sound and sound-speech, often with the
help of electronics and the human voice. When does sound become music, or
vice versa? When do sounds turn into speech, into communication? When does
speech falter into inarticulate sound?
With Retorica, the
intriguing play of image and sound invites you to linger. Two monitors are
suspended in the air, one higher than the other, and at an angle to each
other. The lowermost monitor alternately shows a close-up of a man's eye or
mouth, while the uppermost shows the same facial fragments, but of a baby.
The tapes run perfectly synchronously: when you see the man's mouth above,
you see the baby's eye below, and vice versa. The images and sounds are aimed
at each other: as with a dialogue, one character speaks, while the other
listens and watches, observes.
the images, the man and the baby together, produce the most diverse, primitive,
vocal sounds and noises, with no conventional 'word' being uttered. The
rhetoric of Retorica:
uttered by the baby are repeated by the man. Meanwhile, they are watching each
other closely. There even comes a moment when you are no longer certain who
is imitating whom: beginning and end disappear as in a 'loop'.
are not only unpolished, primitive, rudimentary, raw, and undeveloped, they
also comprise the first hint of language and conventional communication. For
Retorica, Bogers used video films of himself and his child, and registrations
of the sounds his child made during the period just before it actually began
to talk. His own seemingly perfect imitation of these sounds is simulated: in
fact, only one voice was used, that of the baby, which Bogers changed by
means of a voice modulator and then put into his own mouth. The heartrending
interaction between father and child is also the image of a body
communicating with itself, which opens up a whole range of latent or