Thuistezien 171 — 08.02.2021
This performance by Gary Hill, George Quasha & Charles Stein was the last segment of Gary Hill’s exhibition at West on April 14th, 2018. Topping off a three month exhibition at West’s former location, Huis Huguetan, ‘Always Rings Twice’ (16.02.2018 — 13.05.2018), which had begun with a 24-hour interview with Gary Hill.
The performance was the first artistic event West hosted in their current location, the former American Embassy. The performance itself is a collaboration between Gary Hill, a master manipulator of technology and language, George Quasha, an artist and poet who works across media, exploring language, and Charles Stein, a sound poet and visual artist. These three have been collaborating since the 70’s when they met in New York. So, nearly fifty years later, their comfort together, and on stage, seems nothing but intrinsic.
Starting even before everyone has been seated, the audience is taken on a journey through convolving media and provocative poetry. The artist's guide us through a multitude of projection, dance, sound, spoken and written words with an impeccable feel for timing and dynamics. The vague snippets of text draw the conscious into thoughts quickly disrupted through the continual actions from the performers. ‘Logical contradiction is an aid to happiness’, ‘The trouble with paradise is you never want to be away from home’, and ‘Art is not a fucking test’ to recall a few. These vague poetic prophecies display the paradoxical nature of the human experience, and the certain uncertainty that is to be. In the end, this performance is three incredible artists coming together after nearly half a century of work, with nothing more to prove, to create an hour of mutual brilliance.
Text: Hendrik Hohlfeld