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fig↑ info folder remix configuration version

fig↓ illustrations of the installation and remix version


BULICAME (1987/88)

Silent we came to where spurts from the deep
within the woodland a small rivulet,
whose blood-red colour makes my flesh still creep.
As from the Bulicame finds outlet
the brook which prostitutes then 'mongst them share,
so down the sand its course did that one set.
(Dante Inferno 14.76-81


The subject of the work is the seventh circle of Dante's In­fer­no. This is the area where squa­nde­rers and men of violence undergo their punishment. The seventh circle of hell con­sists of three sectors: a boiling hot river of blood, in which those who have harmed their fellow man by means of vio­len­ce are immer­sed; a black, scorched and thorny fo­rest, where the squanderers and those who have ended their own lives by violen­ce, must stay; and a parched, blazing-hot plain of sand, in which those who have commit­ted acts of violence against god - in my view against ideas - are confi­ned. As fourth ele­ment, there is a small rivulet, 'as from the Buli­came finds outlet' (Inferno 14.79), which appears in the trans­itio­nal area between the forest and the pl­ain. The river of blood is the bur­ning, seething sea of fire Phle­gethon from the an­cient under­world. The other mytho­lo­gical underworld rivers also appear in the Inferno. In Canto 14 (94-120) Virgil describes the course of the stran­ge, reddish Buli­came stream. This rivulet forms a con­necting channel between the three rivers of hell which Dante and Virgil have alrea­dy crossed (Ache­ron, Styx and Phle­gethon) and the Cocytus, which they will encounter in the fur­thest depths of hell.

The basis of the installation Bulica­me is made up of three pain­tings and four tapes for four video screens and by natural mate­rials - red clay, leaves, twigs, ashes and cinders - which are laid on the ground. Depen­ding on the exhibition space, the installation can be extended with two more paintings and/or another video screen.

The three paintings depict the three sub-sections of the seventh circle. The two supplemen­tary canvas­ses depict the transitional areas: namely, the land­slide of crumbled earth which forms the transition from the sixth to the seventh circle and the malignant ravine situated be­tween the seventh and eighth cir­cle of hell.
The use of natural materials - on the ground under the paintings and in the open plinths of the video instal­lati­on - serves as a trans­ition from the more literal depic­tion which begins on the autono­mous painted canvasses, to the more factual images shown on the video installation.
A trail of red clay, applied bene­ath the three central pain­tings, repre­sents the rivulet, which con­nects the three areas together in Dante's oeu­vre.

With the video installation, I have attempted to achieve a con­version of the paintings, whereby the content - which can only be understood intuiti­vely and myste­riously with auto­nomous paintings - could be worked out more expli­cite­ly. In this way, the Bulica­me rivulet, which could not be inclu­ded as such in the paintings, has become the main theme of the video installati­on.
The images of this rivulet were re­corded on location in Italy, at a place mentioned by Dante where the hot sulphur spring Bulicame is situa­ted, in the vicinity of Vi­terbo. At certain moments the image of this streaming rivulet is inter­rupted by the motifs of the three corresponding pain­tings, and ima­ges of a parched plane, a scor­ched forest and a (stag­ed) river of blood appear on three monitors. These images were recorded in the vicinity of Viter­bo as well.

The content of the installati­on - the violence which is being punis­hed in the seventh circle - are revealed on three screens with the use of short inserts of TV images. Dante gave form to his Inferno with the use of exten­sive descrip­tions of landsca­pes - ta­king cert­ain existing areas in Italy and further afield as his model - thereby evoking a magnifi­cent locati­on in which he punished a num­ber of mythologi­cal, histori­cal and also contemporary figures. In the same way, with the recor­dings of the Bulicame rivulet, my inten­tion was to create a place where, by means of series of short ima­ges, various 'e­vil-doers' of my own day are brought to task.

Dante's work:
river of blood: tyrants, murderers­ and arso­nists;
scorched forest: suicides, squande­rers and 'those who lament when they should be joyful';
sandy plain: blasphemers, homo­sexu­als and pro­fi­teers.

The videotapes:
river (tape 4): dictators, murde­rers, serious criminals and terro­rists;
forest (tape 3): suicides, squande­rers, fanatics and ruiners of the envi­ronment;
plain (tape 2): discrimination, state terrorism, profi­te­ers, poli­tical oppressi­on
and persecution of ide­as.

The TV footage which I have used was selected in the period between recor­ding and postproduction (14 Septem­ber to 28 November 1987). In two instances, war criminals from the Second World War and the in­ferni they were responsible for causing, are shown.
Tape 5 (Bagno) is intended for a monitor which stands in a somew­hat separate position in the exhi­bi­ti­on space. The central theme of this tape is the bubbling Bulicame rivulet itself, interspersed with images of people whom I have en­countered in the pools of the Buli­came and who, becau­se of their reason for being there, are str­an­gely bound to the place.
The bi­zarre fact that the Buli­ca­me is in the imme­diate vicinity of an army barracks where heli­cop­ters land and take off, lead to the cycle of in­serts of military heli­cop­ters. The mon­tage of these images cor­responds to those of the TV heli­copters which, along with wars and armed con­fli­cts which were raging at the time of the production phase of this pro­ject, are to be seen on moni­tors 2, 3 and 4.
Tape 1 (Spring) consists exclu­si­vely of a close-up recor­ding of the Buli­came, which is also featu­red in tape V. This tape can be shown on the fifth monitor, provi­ded that this is situa­ted outside of the exhibition space.

The remix on this DVD is a configuration of four pictures in picture designed for one videoprojection on four panels and projection screen or wall.
                                                                                                                        (ndk 1988/2003)


installation (1987-88)
concept and script Nolde Koning, camera Louk Vreeswijk, editing Louk Vreeswijk and Bill Spinhoven; postproduction MonteVi­de­o, Amster­dam; in cooperation with Grada van Velzen and Open Studio, Am­ster­dam;
five videotapes 34', colour, sound (stereo), five video screens, five paintings 120 x 120 cm, various natural materials

remix (2003)
concept Nol de Koning, online editing Ramon Coelho, postproduction Netherlands Media Art Institute Montevideo/TimeBasedArts, Amsterdam; 34'11"

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