The Whisper Room, 2017 / 2022
Wood and/or metal construction, acoustic paneling, 7” HD industrial flat panel display, microphone stand, headphones, media player with activation switch, HD video (color, stereo sound, 3:10 min), and assorted cabling.
Edition of two and one artist proof
The Whisper Room is a close encounter through an intimate recital by the artist to each individual viewer. The installation mirrors the site of the recording—that being a narration booth. One viewer at a time enters a small-enclosed space that is covered with acoustic foam paneling. Therein one finds a microphone stand with a small video display mounted upon it as well as a pair of headphones. Once the headphones are donned the video automatically plays or is started by the viewer. The video begins from the point of view of one slowly opening a door and stepping into a small space (the narration booth) with a single microphone on a stand. The camera slowly approaches the microphone and frames the spherical grille. The sphere takes center stage as if it were floating for the duration of the video. It’s as if the viewer is softly requested to speak, to be there, to remain, as a disembodied voice taps into a kind of imaginary place that is oddly nearby wherein contact may occur.
"Gary Hill: Mind's Eye Blink(s)," In Situ/Fabienne Leclerc Gallery, Romanville, November 6, 2022 - January 31, 2023.
"Gary Hill: The Engender Project," Baró Gallery, Palma de Mallorca, November 10, 2022 - January 31, 2023.
"Gary Hill: Language Pit," Behnke Family Gallery/Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, September 7 - October 21, 2023.
Note: The same text was first used in The Slow Torque of Bonsai, 2017 in which each line is spoken approximately 20-30 sec apart accompanied by a single pulse from several linked strobe lights. In The Whisper Room, the delivery is closer to that of a typical recitation.
As we approach
An imaginary point coalesces
Our past trajectories
All the protagonists
All of a sudden
Resurrected as it were
The involuntary inventory begins
Literal things too numerous to name
Reminiscent of ancient signs
Too sober to absorb
The slow torque of bonsai
The warmth of what once was
Alone in the light
Abandoned wood avails itself
I brought you here for reasons I can’t disclose
I’ve worked long hours for this
There is no particular agenda in mind
Nothing here will make or break
You, them, or I
Each and every one
Like tormented insects
By the end it will not matter
Or you will have forgotten
The differences once sworn by
Not to be present
No doubt, a compromise
Do you remember?
The swollen details
The fact that you are here
Has that dawned on you?
But don’t go
I wish there were a way
For you to smell my belly for the first time
All over again
I could stand before you
Peer down at the crown of your head
We could have gone to see a film
Committed to the tedium of plagiarized time
Enabling our being together
Within our separate thoughts
Would it suffice?