Materials: Tweed textile from Harris Tweed, wood, black felt, spotlight, sound. Variable dimensions (196x176x160 cm). 2014
‘Tableau Noir’ is the result of the collaboration between the artists Charlott Markus (visuals) and Eva Rødbro (sound) generously sponsored by Scotland’s infamous Harris Tweed and first showed at the Danish Cultural Institute of UK. The outcome is a unique sculpture, a real-life tableau image, accompanied by a fictional Film Noir inspired soundtrack.
The piece comes across as a stage without human actors and when placed in the context of an exhibition the fabric, the sound and the light becomes the sole performers. All together the material, the light and the basic sounds creates anticipation that something did or will happen while at the very moment everything is at a complete stand still. In the end implying a black and white film still.
When building an abstract room and covering everything, including the walls and the floor with herringboned patterned tweed, the fabric will not only give an impression of its durability but more importantly representing strength by symbolizing a whole construction. The installation becomes the basic symbol of a house, which is a symbol that comes with the attendant called home. This is why the herringbone pattern is the most interesting choice being an ancient roman pattern not only appearing in textile designs but also in masonry and parquetry, that is walls and floors.
Markus invited Eva Marie Rødbro to collaborate with her in making a soundtrack for the piece. The added soundtrack become fragments of memories. A narration one can only hear glimpses of underlining what could have been or what never was.
Using herringbone-pattern with film noir esthetics is not only to emphasize the idea of mystery and vertigo but also as a response to the announced paradigmatic shift in the (art) world in concern to our relationship with reality. Instead of using the crisp and hyper sharp Internet esthetics of today the aim is to give the experience of a real life tableau image that is built with traditional craft and an ancient pattern. Altogether it creates a stand still that will challenge what seems to be the short time span of today’s patience.