Francisco Ruiz de Infante

Bestiaire - Sprachenraum

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CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1998

In the exhibitions hall there are ten tables, arranged in three groups and surrounded untidily by fourteen chairs. Within these groups, the tables are connected by big plates of frosted glass with monitors installed underneath, the screens of which face upwards.

Two wall-high images are projected onto two opposite walls, showing close-ups of different animals in quick succession. Slight digital manipulation of image speed and minor details lets the animals move bodies and mouths simultaneously, uttering strange sounds suggesting that the animals are speaking. The ensemble of sounds is complemented by another complex input of translation attempts.

14 II Lind Headphones are hanging from the ceiling, completing the installation. When the visitors takes a seat and wear the headphones, they can listen to a simultaneous translation of all the sounds and witness the strange animal conversation. What is special about these headphones is that four of them translate the text into Spanish, three into English, three into French and three into German. However, the translation seems strangely disjointed and consists of monotonously lined up sentences. So, visitors can select an understandable language but they will only hear a new series of sounds, in this case human. Like the expressive animal sounds, these human utterances make only as much sense as the own the power of imagination is able to decipher.

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