Camera Opera (2008)

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 01

Installation view, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, 2008 (photographed by Richard-Max Tremblay)

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 02

Installation detail, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, 2008 (photographed by Richard-Max Tremblay)

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 03

Installation detail, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, 2008 (photographed by Richard-Max Tremblay)

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 04

Production photograph

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 05

Production photograph

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 06

Choreography for Cameramen, 1 in series of 5, inkjet print, 29.7 x 21 cm

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 07

Production photograph

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 08

Production photograph

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 09

Choreography for Cameramen, 3 in series of 5, inkjet print, 29.7 x 21 cm

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 10

Video still

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 11

Video still

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 12

Video still

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 13

Video still

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 14

Video still

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 15

Video still

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 16

Video still

Lynne Marsh Camera Opera 17

Video still

Video Clip

Excerpt - 3:00
2-channel video installation | 11:50

2 synchronized Standard Definition videos with sound,  flat screen monitors on stands, speakers on tripods, blue and yellow theatre lights

Camera Opera is filmed on the set of a "Das Duell", a German current-affairs television program. Here, the role of the cameras in conventional news broadcasting is reversed: they become the subject and the performance of filming becomes the action. Five camera operators are directed through a series of choreographed movements around the silent figure of the anchorwoman. The operators circle around the studio, focus on the anchorwoman and pan out to expose the set, equipment, lighting, audience seating and each-other. The performance is set to Strauss waltzes that were piped into the studio to guide the camera operators' movements and later edited in sync with the image to form the final two-screen film. What we see is how the space of the studio is organized through and by camera views, and how the set may become a performative space based on a series of codified relations. Engaging the Brechtian technique of alienation, the cameras turn on themselves, denying their traditional role of relaying information and exposing their participation and status as subjects.

Credits:
  • Journalist: Pamela Schlatterer
  • Camera operators: Karsten Stoll, Pit Fischer, Sven Ickerodt, Karsten Hillmer
  • Crane operator: Matthias Wahle
  • Assistant director: Götz Filenius
  • Video-engineer: Max Wallrabe
  • n-tv Head of Production: David Jacobs
  • Lighting: Christian Kaminski
  • Production assistant: Daniel Sippel
  • Editor: Mathieu-Bouchard-Malo
  • Set Photographer: Hans-Georg Gaul
  • Filmed on location and with the participation of studio staff of n-tv Berlin
  • Funding: Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Canada Council for the Arts, OBORO New Media Lab Production Assistance Program