Mouth Piece

Gary Hill

This video is no longer available

Takeover: I. Tongue Takeover Mouth Piece
Gary Hill

1 Minutes

Repeat: Dec 15-16 ET

In this video there are two planes of image: in the background is the lower half of a face (the artist’s) with mouth at the center; in the foreground is a graphic depiction of red, electronically generated lips that move as a transparent motion picture against a violet background. The actual mouth manneristically blows a loud kiss as the red lips move precisely in front of it, and after repeating it four times vibrates the lips (blowing-sputtering, sounding like a child) and then sticks the tongue out with a loud throaty “Ahhh.” This primitive articulation takes language down to the physical bottom line, like the sound of the word Dada that’s baby talk. And it creates an interface between physical and electronic linguistic acts––a simple, even ridiculous version of the threshold between person and electronic art. The title spelt as two words is axial, suggesting “a piece about the mouth” and at same time “mouthpiece;” the latter seems light-heartedly to pick up on the etymology of persona as the sounding through the mouthpiece of the mask in ancient Greek drama. (George Quasha and Charles Stein)

This screening is part of Tongue Takeover, the first chapter of the online program Takeover curated by Julian Ross for e-flux Video & Film, and unfolding in six chapters between September 22 and December 15, 2022, with the films and videos of each chapter streaming for two weeks.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Video Art, Computer-Generated Art
Return to I. Tongue Takeover

Gary Hill (b. 1951, Santa Monica, CA) has worked with a broad range of media including sculpture, sound, video, installation, and performance since the early 1970s. His longtime work with intermedia continues to explore an array of issues ranging from the physicality of language, synesthesia, and perceptual conundrums to ontological space and viewer interactivity. Exhibitions of his work have been presented at museums and institutions worldwide, including solo exhibitions at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona; and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, among others. Hill has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most notably the Leone d’Oro Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale (1995), a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award (1998), and the Kurt-Schwitters-Preis (2000).

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