A karaoke system set up in a cave in southern Mexico. The system, alone in the cavern, plays familiar songs in their diluted royalty free karaoke form. The instrumentation is a tainted imitation and the vocals are phantoms or non existent. The compiled mashup of songs tells a narrative between the human and the non-human, a dialogue that recognise frailties, mistakes, ignorances and a current condition. The participant of the karaoke is the ancient cave itself. The sound bounces and echos around the jagged interior and is picked up by the microphone.
The work plays on ideas of kitsch ecology formulated by Timothy Morton. The tacky nature of kitsch recapitulates symbiotic realities.
As well as the works sonic dimension, the title nods to the allegory of the cave. The inability to communicate the outside world to those left behind and alienation felt by those returning. Kitchness being the unimpressive retelling, seen by the eyes of those who never left.
Special thanks to:
Miranda Remington for the work with the sound and Jacob Z for the animation work.
The work was made during the Paladora Art Residency in Chemuyil, Mexico. With thanks to Isadora Nahon, Alexa Nahon and Jean Luc Nahon.
The video installation was created for the exhibition ‘I knock on your skin’ in SET Woolwich.
Photos by Dominique Croshaw and Anthony Dickenson.
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Exhibited in "I Knock on Your Skin" at SET Woolwich.
Install shots below.