NARKOSE (German for the English word – Narcosis) is a two channel video and sculptural installation, originally created as a simulation for Art in the Age of Information exhibition at Wood Street Galleries of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust with its completed version executed for The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The generating video material is performance footage recorded in a moor in North Germany and inside an old brewery vat at the “Brew House” the former Duquesne Brewery on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Additionally, both video channels integrate appropriated broadcast images from the Gulf War and the Berlin Wall. Simultaneously one channel is projected onto a floating wall-like screen, while the second channel is seen on a monitor inside a large, conical shape sheathed in lead. Both viewing objects are suspended in space at right angles to each other.
On the floating wall, the dominate image is a performance sequence of a body buried in a cavity excavated from an exposed cut in the moor created while on location in an ancient archeological site, the Witte Moor, Germany. Buried along with the body, just above the head, is a small color monitor playing documentary images from the recent Gulf War and the removal of the Berlin Wall. These images are seen through a circular, optical magnifying glass, appearing like thought forms or dreams.
An optical glass is also the viewing devise, in the tip of a large lead cone, through which the viewer sees in extreme close up a hammer ceaselessly banging on a wall creating a booming echo. Periodically as the hammer strikes the wall, the surface seemingly gives up flashes of images from the Gulf War or Berlin Wall sagas.
In both channels, these images serve as symbols/examples of collective psychic projections upon the culture, inherently carrying within themselves the seeds of both positive and negative, success and failure. It is this convoluted twist or möbius strip in our consciousness as it projects in our created environment that serves as intriguing content. Sturgeon’s poetic text for NARKOSE and its translation are read by a male voice in English then by a female voice in German, evoking an eerie play of extremes – that which is and that which is not.
1993 Art in the Age of Information, Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh, PA
1994 Solo Exhibition, (April 18 -June 10, 1994) The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio