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Stan Douglas «Onomatopoeia»
Stan Douglas, «Onomatopoeia», 1985 – 1986
Photography | © Stan Douglas

slide installation, 6 min. each rotation, b/w, sound, 154 slides, 88-note player piano, music roll, screen, dimensions variable | slide projection

 Stan Douglas

In «Onomatopoeia», the factory floor confronts the upstairs parlour. The technology of cinema and that of industrial production become as one in the piece. In the installation a screen hovers over an old upright player piano. The piano plays bars from Beethoven’s «C Minor Sonata, Opus 111». Triggered by punctuations on the piano scroll, images of an empty textile factory are projected above the piano. Many are of the perforated scrolls that would have been used to ‹programme› weaving into fabric patterns, echoing the looms used to make player piano scrolls. The piano is spot-lit for a performer but no-one ist present; likewise, there is no-one in the factory, yet the installation is ‹the scene of an accident›.

(Source: Scott Watson, «Against the Habitual,» in Scott Watson et al.(eds.), Stan Douglas, Phaidon:London, 1998, p. 35.)