“Kjesty” is a video/sound installation placed in a space 1.60m/4.00m. There are two TV monitors on top of each other. Only the screens are visible through the cut out pieces of the installation’s back wall. The top screen shows a looped video of a shadow of an old-fashioned toy (man on a bicycle) that is swinging back and forth in a long curve along the walls of a bedroom. The bottom screen shows a looped video of a girl climbing up a ladder to swing on a trapeze. She swings, flies, gets caught by the male acrobat on the swing, and comes down again with a smile on her face. The source for this video is a super 8 film. The two videos are synchronised. The bottom video is supplying the sound for the installation. The sound comes out of a speaker that is suspended in the installations ceiling. We hear a Dat recording of a music box that plays „Brahm’s Wiegenlied". Underneath that speaker is a bedside table with a little wooden box on it. The box contains the music box, which is the original source of the sound. The music box is one that has to be operated by hand. The sound was recorded in a way that it would synchronise with the video of the girl on the trapeze. It starts with the clicking sound of the handle being turned. The music starts when she is climbing up the ladder. The music is paced to the video so that the song finishes when she is back on the ground. The sound was recorded live to the video for five loops, and then looped onto the videotape. This way of recording the sound live slightly alters the speed and the rhythm of the song for each looped sequence of video. Due to the live recording and the nature of this music-box (having to be operated by hand) there is an inaccuracy of timing the sound to the video. This makes the sound, although repetitious, yet always different in its speed, rhythm etc. and thus gives the impression of it being played live to the video in the space. The positioning of the speaker undermines this impression. Since the speaker is suspended, hardly visible in the ceiling above the box, the sound travels down on it. The music box is locked in the wooden box and thus can neither be opened nor operated by anyone.
When entering the installation, the viewer is confronted with a dreamlike poetic imagery. The sound, Brahm’s Wiegenlied, is familiar to the viewer. Since it is a very clear recording of the music box, and is being played back through a speaker, it is very different to its original character. It is much louder than the sound of a music box would usually be. It might be beautiful and disturbing at the same time. This installation uses familiar components, which through recognition, may draw the viewer into the world of childhood memories: bedtime singing and stories, dreams and nightmares: things we wished for and things we were scared of: the dreams we once had that have been forgotten and the dreams that stay with us.
2 Monitors, 2 video-players, amplifier, speaker, Table, box, music-box