Installation views - Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2016
five-channel HD film installation, single-channel at screen monitor, stereo sound
An immersive five-channel film installation that shows the single-take recording of a musical for six continuously rolling cameras. Gathered in a film studio, a cast of performers and a film crew meet for the first—and last—time, together delivering a repertoire developed with Spooner over a number of years through previous performances and exhibitions elsewhere. Over forty-six minutes, their non-stop motion sometimes creates coherency, and at other times does not, to land as a composite, a multi-person performance-to-camera.
Central to And you were wonderful, on stage, is Spooner’s script delivered as a soundtrack by a chorus line. They gossip through appropriated tweets, YouTube comments or news headlines, meshed with Spooner’s own prose, all relating to celebrities, athletes, and politicians who have outsourced their performance to a technology; including Beyoncé’s 2013 lip-syncing scandal during Obama’s Presidential inauguration, and sports star Lance Armstrong’s doping confession to Oprah Winfrey.
The libretto is made from meeting notes taken by Spooner at an advertising agency. These recall a marketing practice where employee’s private lives and aspirations are extracted for use in a TV commercials. Speech is adjusted and tweaked, then handed back to the source to perform a scripted version of themselves to camera.
In the installation the chronology of the six cameras is left untouched and distributed across five screens, to make a work that has more in common with a live choreographic event than cinema.