fig: video stills from Palinuro


fig: video stills from Miseno






The parallels between Palinurus and Misenus are remarka­ble. Both characters lose their lives at the end point of the jour­ney. Virgil models both of them of the figure of Elpe­nor from Homer's Odyssey.  And both have headlands in Italy named after them. Despite these facts, there are also major diffe­rences.
For me, the significance of Palinurus lies in the fact that he embodies the cultural-historical type who justifies both the con­sequences of his personal ambitions as well as the social develop­ments of which he is a part. This interpre­tation is partly based on the commentary of the English writer Cyril Connolly, which, together with my admiration for the power of the Aeneis, was the source of inspiration for PALINU­RO. In my interpretation of Palinurus, I have aimed in both form and content at the deepest inner quali­ties of man and the world. MISENO, on the other hand, is concerned more with the realm of reality - our reality.  The way in which Virgil makes Misenus act is so different from that of Palinurus, that he has come to repre­sent for me the type who does not try to justify his every action, and all their disastrous consequen­ces. The relationship between both installations is that of protagonist and antago­nist.
The division of protagonist/antagonist across two seperate instal­lati­ons arose during the work on PALINURO and was inspi­red by the manner in which I tackled the selection of TV images for the 'min­d's eye' of Palinurus.  At the time I tried to look at the visual material through lyrical eyes - with close attention to the passionate forces of nature (Poeschl) - whilst the collec­tion, consisting largely of documenta­ries, compri­ses mainly critical images and in general depicts the bizarre­ness of our time. The installa­tion MISENO came into being because I did not want to leave this side of the visual material unused. The twin concepts of protagonist/antagonist served me as a guideline, not only in the sense of opposing characters but also as figu­res which supple­ment each other. In this way there is a complemen­tary mutual connection between both installations, which not only emerges in the content but also in the form.
Victor Poeschl has pointed out in his book Die Dichtkunst Virgils - Bild und Symbol in der Aeneis that in all parts of the oeuvre light is overshadowed and in the darkness light breaks through, which can be traced back to the classical endeavour to achieve a harmonic balance between opposites. This endeavour has been an important criterion for me in the making of PALINURO and MISENO.

(ndk 1990)

> Bulicame   > Palinuro   > Miseno   > Palinuro and Miseno   > Vulcano Eolico
> Hylas' Song   > Nox Umida   > Malebolge   > Versions of the Blue Hour
> Terra Morale   > The C of Scylla   > Old Ocean
> Not from Land any Longer   > remaining projects