The Hidden Character 2016
The Hidden Character is a music performance of Arabesque nr. 1 (Claude Debussy) and a re-written piece of Isoldes Liebestod (Tristan Und Isolde, Richard Wagner). Both musical pieces are used by Alfred Hitchcock to construct his film The Birds as a fictional space of two opposing generations of women. Ralph Collier's work plays with the evocative capacity of music and the open-ended nature of an exhibition to re-imagine a story. He deploys the expressive power of both music and cinema as parts of the collective memory to trigger behaviours, emotions and impressions. The simultaneous performance of both music pieces generates an extra layer in the storyline, a new agent whose role in the movie remains untold.
The artist crafts his work through the duration of his sound piece, which becomes the material of experience for the spectators. His interplay with the story makes the plot both apparent and disrupted, making the audience aware of this intruder, compelled to untangle and re-read the plot.
By these means, he is able to look into the infrastructures that support the language and generate meaning. Inquiring about the pre-existing conditions that provoke a certain reading and that shape our understanding.
Written by Barbara Cueto & Bas Hendrikx