Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat

Measuring Narrative with Water

The audio-visual performance Measuring Narrative With Water uses language as a measuring tool: how closely does it capture what we want to tell?

In the 1920s, Knud Heckscher, Sirah Foighel Brutmann’s great-grandfather, describes his experiences in letters as he travels by water from Copenhagen to Bangkok, and back. The witty descriptions of his travels reveal the colonial white man’s fear of the unknown. At the same time, he feels threatened by an imported anti-Semitism. Foighel Brutmann performs excerpts from the letters in different languages, retranslations and accents.

With electronic effects and acoustic sounds, brought live by Eitan Efrat, the makers emphasize the physicality of the different languages used by Foighel Brutmann. On a screen we see text, projections of black-and-white photographs Heckscher took in Bangkok, and colorful video footage of watery phenomena. What fluids pass through us and affect us? To what extent are we responsible for the histories we inherit?

Measuring Narrative With Water touches on core themes in the practice of the artistic duo Foighel Brutmann and Efrat. They are interested in the materiality, spatiality and duration of images, the relationships between a viewer and history, and the temporality of narratives and memory.

Sirah and Eitan’s practice focuses on the performative aspects of the moving image. In their work they aim to mark the spatial and durational potentialities of reading of images – moving or still; the relations between spectatorship and history; the temporality of narratives and memory and the material surfaces of image production.

van en met: Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat
brontekst: Knud Heckscher
stemopnames: Hanne Foighel
outside eye: Bouchra Lamsyeh
productie: Messidor
met steun van: de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Morpho, kunstencentrum nona, Beursschouwburg, Kunsthal Extra City, Kunstencentrum BUDA, Kunstenwerkplaats