Video (black-and-white, sound); 12:00 min.
Recorded in Woodstock, Feathers is an improvised narrative that follows a day in the life of a young man. The protagonist is seen waking, leaving home, taking a walk, visiting an art gallery, washing dishes, eating, etc. Disparate events, props and references are linked together in unusual and non-linear ways. At times the character speaks directly to the camera, complaining about the director not showing his emotional side and treating him as a prop.
Broeker, Holger, ed. Gary Hill: Selected Works and catalogue raisonné. Wolfsburg: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2002, GHCR 5, p. 56.
Music by Erik Satie.
“Video Night,” Woodstock Artists’ Association, Woodstock, New York, May 24, 1973.
The Kitchen Center for Video and Music, New York, New York, 1973.
Sarrazin, Stephen. Chimaera Monographe No. 10 (Gary Hill). Montbéliard, France: Centre International de Création Vidéo Montbéliard, Belfort, 1992, p. 72.
Morgan, Robert C., ed. Gary Hill. Baltimore: PAJ Books / The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000, pp. 211 – 212.
Gary Hill: Selected Works and catalogue raisonné. Wolfsburg: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2002, GHCR 5, p. 56.
“Just a second…Godammit, I’ll be down in a …!”
“Hey, where are you going? I thought you were going to do the dishes!”
“You can pick up the banana with both of your hands, kind of slowly. Okay, perfect.”
“Rub your body on the floor.”
“No, wait, wait, wait…”
“Did you just get the oats themselves?”
“So, Gary, where does this thing go…what do you think of that? I don’t blame you, it’s not very much interesting. You ready?”
“What are you going to do? Oh, you’re going to get a shot of the water running in the tap, right? In the pan? I’ve already got the water running. I’ve already got it – this.”
“You got that?”
“Into the pot?”
“What’s this about – you?”
“It’s about me and everybody yelling at me to do dishes, and then I get disgusted and I go off into the woods to find nature and then I go into town and find art in the art gallery by reaching behind a painting and finding a…”
“I don’t know, Gary, it seems to me that through this entire movie I’m always playing the part of a clown, or I’m almost like a prop, or, you know, on stage, but it never seems to be that you show any kind of like, of my other personality, which, you know, has different kinds of feelings and human emotions involved. It’s more like I’m just a camera or I’m just, you know, a mechanism through which all this is taking place. And I seem to be devoid of what I think of as myself or as my personality. It’s like all the camera and other things just seem to just show details and pieces like a puzzle. They don’t really show the essence of me, the spirit of who I am as a person or quieter mood or something. Which is alright, I guess, but I’d just like to see a little bit more of my not-fooling-around self involved. It’s pretty much - the satire is effective but I think there’s something missing. It’s like it’s too much of a parody of itself sometimes. Maybe in certain spots we could have more of a feeling of just being without pretense, the antics, the mechanism, without the props, and just being, just a rest in between.”
“Still going, Gary? Is it on? Still going, Gary? Is it on?”
“What is it? The texture, the smell, the taste?”
“The texture and smell – it’s so bland. It’s just about the blandest.”
“I feel like I’m eating a disease nobody wants to touch. It tastes okay to me.”
“Tastes horrible to me.”
“How does it taste to you, Gary? You, the guy with the camera?”