© Rodney Graham

A Reverie Interrupted by the Police

Rodney Graham

  • Year 2003
  • Edition Edition 2/5 (+ 1 a.p.)
  • Material/Technique Single-channel video installation (color, sound)
  • Dimensions Own room, max. 970 - 1070 cm
  • Length 7' 59'' loop
  • Category Media art

A police officer leads a handcuffed man onto the spot lit stage of a small suburban theater. The man is there to perform a piece of music on a piano. But, to his surprise, the policeman does not remove the handcuffs, and the convict is forced to integrate this physical limitation into his piece.

Rodney Graham, who is a musician himself, slips into the role of the prisoner for his film, A Reverie Interrupted by the Police. Instead of performing the reverie suggested in the title, however, the convict plays an atonal, experimental piece, which includes banging the lid of the upright piano. The policeman, who stands guard with an unmoved expression, ends the performance after a short time and leads the prisoner off the stage. The costumes and opulent setting of the ambiguous, tragicomic situation are reminiscent of slapstick scenes from the silent film era.

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