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| Rist and Coyne by Hallberg |

January 12, 2009

Jackie & Edna, Homage to Pipilotti Rist and Kevin Coyne by Niclas Hallberg 2008


click image to see video

In “You Called Me Jacky“, Pipilotti Rist mimes to a Kevin Coyne song, interspersing the images with shots of passing scenery viewed from a train window. As Rist, Niclas Hallberg creates a remix of fantasy and the everyday. While Rist mimes to the late great Kevin Coyne’s Jackie and Edna (1973), looking like a cross between Annie Lennox and George Formby, Hallberg performs his own singing playing up the icon status. As in Rist, the simplicity of this video is what makes it so endearing and an enigmatic and emotive piece.

Hallberg explains that what brought him to create his piece was the love for Rist’s work and that his homage is not a copy, but it conveys the  same thought and feelings as her piece. And follows by saying that his intention was to make it as similar as possible to the original, singing, performing and playing the guitar himself.

Jacky and Edna was recorded by Pipilotto Rist with a band, LES REINES PROCHAINES, a Swiss girl group. It was called You Called Me Jacky and appeared on their 1993 album “Lob Ehre Ruhm Dank” Image (CD/LP, BOY 17, Because Of You, Released in Basel, Distributet by Rec Rec Zurich).

Niclas Hallberg is a Swedish artist working with video, photo, installation and painting. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Sweden, China, Finland, Serbia and Poland. His works often deals with questions concerning identities, environment and humanity, in an experimental way. He is one of the founders of Formverk, an artist-run exhibition place in Sweden.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jan permalink
    January 14, 2009 10:22 pm

    What fun to see Hallberg and Rist back to back! As much as Hallberg is trying to parody Rist, I think we see the “real” man underneath this comical pseudo performance. Rist lip synches badly, has no sense of rhythm and asexually begins the video stiff as a board. Hallberg tries to convince us he’s a hayseed – hick- hillbilly lip synching badly to his own rendition, but musician is written all over his body. His “groovin” moves, in response to the recording of his own music, prevent him from successfully mimicking Rist’s laughable cardboard performance. Hallberg’s video becomes a commentary on trying to be something you aren’t. Clearly, Niclas is a musician who feels his music – no hiding it. The body language tells all.

    Watching both videos made me think of Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow Up. Below is a You Tube link of the Yardbirds performance. The musicians are feeling the music, but most bizarrely, the audience is nearly as rigid as Rist in her moves. When we finally see two audience members dancing, they are puppets moving ala Rist. The only time the audience reacts at all is when Jeff Beck smashes his guitar and they all want a piece of it – nothing about real music or the enjoyment thereof, only the objects associated with the musician.

    It matters not to me that Niclas is creating this video as a homage to Rist, because it has become its own little study of one’s desire becoming eclipsed by one’s inherent human nature. And that has made me think deeper about the public’s expectations and perceptions about performers as well as the intentions of the performers themselves. How often is there really a hit? a miss?

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