Text:Nicole F. Loeser

The focus of the installation, cis, by Elmar Hess, is that of a video projection depicting a sea’s waterline quickly slipping by. Taken from the vantage point of a ship’s porthole, white-capped waves wash in peaks and valleys over its glass.

The movement of the water seems to mimic the tone and rhythm of a peculiarly unfolding music that accompanies the video. The key to this audio counterpart is c-sharp.

Within the room of the video projection a series of large tubular bells chimes are suspended from above that together comprise a musical scale. Between these dormant tubes, live birds fly freely through the space. Their bright chirps establish a counterpoint to the anticipated deep resonance of the bells, while their erratic fluttering about dynamically contrasts the continuous, regular shifting weight of the ship’s hull within the video.

The work, cis, (meaning C-Sharp), is one component of a larger project titled, Elizabeth, which comprises a five-room installation. It addresses the function of individuals in the greater context of today’s rapid pace of change. (…)