Twelve Movements


2014, video, 11:34 minutes; music; 25 drawings; schemes on tracing paper

Dorothea von Stetten Kunstpreis 2014, Kunstmuseum Bonn, 29. 5. – 17. 8. 2014

video Braňo Pažitka


For this work, I converted the living room in my parent’s flat into a “stage” for a set of twelve simple actions. Each of the actions involves a minimal manipulation with an element of the environment (a book, a pen, a curtain, etc.). None of them results in any essential change, however. Thereby all the actions look like a check of the setting, or a preparation for some more substantial activity which never takes place. In every action, the body is turned in a slightly different direction. To each physical act (and to its corresponding direction, object and spatial position) one tone of the chromatic scale was assigned. Thereby the movements and the space were put in relation to the constitutive material of music. The next component of the work is a musical composition written according to the laws of the twelve-tone technique. The composition consists of twelve series, by twelve tones each. To determine the length and the succession of the tones as well as the development of the atmosphere, I used a short text as a basis for the music score (so the composition is actually a song, the words of which were omitted). The text that served this purpose is a description of the project itself, compressed into 144 (12 × 12) syllables. In the filmed performance, which is an ultimate result of the process, the succession and the length of the tones in the melody determine the succession and the length of the respective physical actions. Therefore, what looks at first glance as a sequence of randomly repeated activities, is in fact a strictly determined composition, in which individual movements correspond to the tones in the musical piece.