Gary Hill

Circular Breathing





In his installation CIRCULAR BREATHING, Gary Hill combines five detail shots with five fragments into seven chapters.

The pictures move along the wall in mathematically structured sequences. The more pictures are visible on the five projection surfaces, the more the speed of upcoming pictures decreases, going into slow motion before coming to a standstill. The picture sequences and the synchronous sound blend and separate at the same time, suggesting elements of a story and forming intuitive allegories without coming into a linear narrative structure.

In the context of the works about perception, consciousness and communication CIRCULAR BREATHING is Gary Hill’s most outstanding work. The title refers to a special technique of breathing as practised when playing wind instruments and in Chinese Tai-Chi. CIRCULAR BREATHING symbolizes the process of perception in memory and is an exercise of renouncing a meaning. Pre-structured chapters like “Strassenszene” (Street Scene), “Baustelle” (Building Site) or “Klavierspiel” (Piano Play) encourage the perception to formulate a structure of narration. But in the race with the disappearance of the fragments of pictures and sound, the attempt of a linear narration dries up. The continuity of seeing meets with the instability of the flickering images and the discontinuity of the narrative technique.

Following the rhythm of the images, the eye has to breathe, between a fade-in on the leftand a fade-out on the right hand side. The appearing and disappearing of the images and sounds corresponds to the process of remembering and forgetting. The images show up as if emerging from a stream of lost recollections just to disappear again into oblivion.

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