GEMINI EXIT (Beeny's Retirement)
"Plenty who are not experts comfortably characterise a Gemini." Astrological charts are discarded, used, embraced like other technologies. A label is worn with a set of limits. NASA states that Project Gemini (1961-66) was thus named for the two men who would fit in the capsule, attempting space walks and docking, always recording the results. The gesture of alienating and forcing the position of not knowing, a system for deluding expertise, is at the core of this iteration of Come Closer, echoing ‘The Instrument Of Troubled Dreams’, a site-specific installation by Janet Cardiff (1957) and George Bures Miller (1960) that was composed in and around the Oude Kerk.
GEMINI EXIT (Beeny's Retirement) was a situation for camera by Ivan Cheng focusing on agency without authorship. It featured new sculptures by Kristoffer Zeiner that were cast in the role of 'Beeny', and improvising pianist Marta Warelis playing the Transept organ of the church. Playing on the role of compression, the 'public' were invited to use their own headphones and electronic devices to stream audio files prepared by Cheng, containing texts and audio that offered an alternate accompaniment or sonic proximity to the live action. Respondents to an open call took featured but ambiguous roles in the work. The complicity in the act of mediating this content was voluntary, with the role of the live witness and their recording device is given equal emphasis.
with Dagmar Bosma, Ivan Cheng, Jacob Dwyer (Canon HF10), Sandy Harry Ceesay, Fán Liào (Sony A7S II), Yunfei Ren (Sony A7S II), Nolwenn Salaün (Nikon D3200), Natalia Salloum, Sophie de Serriere, Kristoffer Zeiner
photographs: Maarten Nauw
This program is part of Come Closer: a series of four intimate evenings curated by Radna Rumping, where visitors and artists explore the sonic space of the Oude Kerk with dance, performance and deep listening exercises. Come Closer has been developed in relation to The Instrument of Troubled Dreams, a sound installation by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at the Oude Kerk, curated by Jacqueline Grandjean.Beeny's Retirement is a scored situation for camera by Ivan Cheng, with new sculptures by Kristoffer Zeiner cast in the role of Beeny*. The score is structured temporally by the Transept organ of the church, played by pianist Marta Warelis. A series of half-lives, mini golf holes, and emotional contexts play out for registration on a range of devices. The 'public' is invited to use their own headphones and electronic devices to stream audio files prepared by Cheng, containing texts and audio to listen to, relay, and prescribe movement. The act of mediating this content is voluntary, with the role of the witness and their recording device is given equal emphasis.
GEMINI EXIT (Beeny's Retirement) is performed in English, but can be experienced without an understanding of language. Please bring headphones. Make sure to dress warmly but comfortably. Style is optional. Please note that the situation will be filmed, the footage intended for a video work. The Koffieschenkerij will be open afterwards for drinks and conversation. Please reserve your seat online to receive advance information.
* Beeny refers in part to Beanie Babies, understuffed soft toys produced in limited numbers; highly collectible. Further, parts of the structural logic finds origin in S03E13 of Gilmore Girls, in conjunction with recent events and relationships. This project functions within the broader interest in (de)materialisations of scores.
➊ “Every word u say is code for something else”. Demonstrations of refusal without clarity.
➋ Trashing Shulie, an essay in which filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin orients her reconstruction of a 1967 student documentary which portrayed a young art painter named Shulamith Firestone, before she moved to New York and wrote the seminal Dialectic of Sex.
➌ Agency without authorship, and vice versa
➍ Krapp's Last Tape, an old man going through a tape from his past, indexical, catalogued in a ledger. Samuel Beckett writing the theatrical present as constantly interrupting the past registration, which in itself is a recollection of another past moment.
➎ Every pause as a device. (Spatial Juvenilia ~ Cutesy Being)
➏ A new net for pigeons at the old train station.
➐ The character of A in Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, recollecting being nude except for pearls and diamonds in her separate bathroom, her husband, nude, entering as she powders herself, with a wide diamond bracelet on his short erect penis, which he rests on her shoulder as she vocalises that she couldn’t do that, until it drops in her lap and he leaves the room.
➑ Sonic spaces of delimitation (glass ceilings, graves, airport lounges)
➒ ‘Beeny’ is voiceless. Absence must be recognised as significant. Retirement is the disappearance of the individual into a role, so successful, that their obsolescence can coincide with the next individual to fall into a role. Could ‘Beeny’ be replaced?