[Nagnagnag] kirk in York

richard24-24 at ntlworld.com richard24-24 at ntlworld.com
Mon Oct 20 19:08:24 EDT 2003

Darkness at Noon Installation - York 10/03

I have just got back from seeing the event in York and here is my description of  what I witnessed. The film or it could be called an installation was in a low lighted large oblong room with a low ceiling and the white walls of an art gallery in which it was situated. At the far end of the room was a large back projector screen . There were four speakers on stands in all four corners and two red sofa towards the back of the room. On the screen three images were projected, the outer two were identical and all three were roughly the same size of about 6ft x 10ft . The also followed the same way the images were presented in that there was a smaller sized image of about 4ft x 6ft in the middle of the larger image underneath it, a sort of picture in picture effect.

The two outer images were identical and seemed to be made up of resent news footage of 9/11, the Iraq war, news footage from Baghdad , London, New York, Dr David Kelly and Bin Laden. They were all inter cut in such  a way that they showed the burning twin towers and burning Iraq, with planes and bombs hitting both. The images had the usual Kirk treatment of ghostly figures, interference and electronic moving of phase and colours. Some time the images on the screen were  picture in picture identical and other time there were distinct images on both parts of the screen. The center image was entirely different, at times if seemed to be channel surfing from one TV show to the next taking kirks favorite theme of sex, riot, war, game shows, old B movies,  his films from African and the Caribbean,  him self (they were really old film of him from way back) I even thought I detected images that came from the first double vision video, the shots of the big water tower and street lights. They were all mashed up and treated the same way as the war footage, really bright colours in a barrage images which were all cut from one another very quickly. I sat there for some time, I lost track of time and fell into a trance, my eyes would not close, it felt as though the images were being sucked in by my brain like a kind of drug through TV. 

What  really set all this off was the music through the surround sound system. The sound track was pure ambiance, but dark and brooding. The music had no bass lines to speak of, and may have had the hand of another in its development. For those who still have nightmares from the effect of Chris Watsons duck, there was a similar effect from some bird sounds that were woven into the music. It sounded like a really harsh crow calling, the sound was messed about with (what else would you expect) and was very repetive during one part of the music. The main bulk was rhythms inter woven, think orchestra digital but without the bass. The over all effect was quite outstanding, as I have said before very hypnotic and even dangerous, I felt like I was the subject of an interrogation.

One of the most fascinating parts came when I left the room where the Kirk installation was, and went into the proper gallery next door, with it  dusty pictures of flowers and people on horse back, There was also a picture called armageddon, with the earth being consumed by the fires of hell (biblical stuff) which was painted a couple of hundred years ago. I stood looking at that picture and began to realize that the pulsing and frankly disturbing sound from the next room could be heard clearly and I could see through the two sets of doors the images flashing across the screen, filling the whole room with a ghostly light. Then it began to rain and the sound of the glass roof being struck added to the utter stillness of the moment, two images of armageddon, one two hundred years old and one present day. It make you think very deeply about the world we live in and what is going on. A group of people stood at the door way of the Kirk show but seemed afraid to go in they stood there watched and listened and instead went for the safety of pictures of flowers, kind of sums up the world we live in.

Richard Lord

ps I have a fondness for the band Stereolab and found this link, Kirk would be pleased.

pps CV had a mention on a regional magazine show which had a feature on Sheffield bands of yester year the usual suspects of ABC, Human League and Heaven 17 were the main focus (as bloody usual)

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