Betty and the Camera
video, hd, loop(3min), bw, sound, 2011
camera: leopold leskovar, performance: bettina pernstich
The three minutes of female boxing in this short video were edited together in the special rhythm of boxing combinations. During the transitions, the gloves hit the camera and stop time for a brief instance. Boxers do not only fight against their adversaries; they also fight against time. This video work derived from an extended engagement between the relation of boxing with film theory. Having explored different contact points between the two fields, I concentrated on exploring the fluxion of time and the double-meaning of the word of ‘Cut’.
«When a boxer is ‘knocked out’ it does not mean, as it’s commonly thought, that he has been knocked out unconscious, or even incapacitated; it means rather more poetically that he has been knocked out of time» writes Joyce Carol Oates and stated, that there are two 2 dimensions of time abruptly operant: «While the standing boxer is in time, the fallen boxer is out of time.» The term cut is used in both film and boxing. While the «Cut-Up Man» is the person responsible for patching up the boxer’s face, whilst the term ‘cut’ is used in film for creating a cinematic experience through arrangement of frames.
I focussed the work on the connection between boxing and the cinematic cut, and the conception of time. The ‘Cutting Concept’ derived from punching combinations I developed together with Bettina Pernstich, the only authorized femal box trainer in Austria. During this 3 minute video (the duration of a training round in female boxing); time is fragmented through the punching combinations and the almost imperciptible cuts happening the moments when the gloves move towards the camera, hiding the field of vision.
Reference: Oates, Joyce C. (2006) On Boxing. New York: Ecco Press.
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I fought the X and the X fought back and won. Ausstellungskatalog. Raphael Vella (Hg). Arta, Valetta 2011
National Museum Malta, Valletta