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Skipping

Michael Curran
1994
60 Mins Colour Video
Installation, made in collaboration with Knut Harald Asdam

Skipping

A single screen work for transitional spaces.

This installation tape was made in collaboration with Norwegian artist and theorist Knut Harald Asdam. Curran skips in real time for an hour moving between excitation and towards exhaustion while reciting the lines:

"When you fall like a stone one must not think.
If one thinks then one must not fall."

The act continues to refer to itself, it is literally self reflexive, although each arc of the rope invites entry. Despite its repetitions, an evolution takes place: an initial lack of cohesion moves towards some kind of uneasy accord, gradually physical energy is depleted, the act struggles to assert itself.

It is the nature of a transcendental inquiry that we cannot break it off when we please. No sooner have we reached the condition or ground of our principle than we are hurled headlong beyond the absolutely unconditioned, the ground-less' from which the ground itself emerged.

Musil wrote: "What fearful power, what awesome divinity is repetition! It is the pull of the void that drags us deeper and deeper down like the ever-widening gullet of a whirlpool. For we knew it well all along: it was none other than the deep and sinful fall into a world where repetition drags on down lower and lower at each step"We remarked earlier that repetition characterised the binding process inasmuch as it is repetition of the very moment of excitation, the moment of the emergence of life; repetition is what holds together the instant; it constitutes simultaneity. But inseparable from this form of the repetition we must conceive of another, which in its turn repeats what was before the instant - before excitation disturbed the indifference of the inexcitable and life stirred the inanimate from sleep. How indeed could excitation be bound and thereby discharged except by this double action of repetition, which on the one hand binds the excitation and on the other tends to eliminate it. Beyond Eros we encountered Thanatos; beyond the ground, the abyss of the groundless; beyond repetition the repetition that links, the repetition that erases and destroys."

(Deleuze, The Death Instinct - Coldness & Cruelty page11)

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