Night of Swords
2017
8 hours

 

Night of Swords is an eight-hour long, one shot, single take durational performance for video.

A jump-cut to an eternal combat between two lovers, a metre of the limits of ambition,

tribute to the absurdly liminal tenacity of competition.

 

Across the 480 minutes of the video’s duration,

the light shifts with the passing of time,

from clear Autumn daylight

to the fluorescent lights of a gymnasium once darkness falls.

Dressed in medieval knight meets basketball kit, with athletic mesh replacing chain mail,

the two opponents perform a cycling and endless loop

of 3 simple stage combat choreographies.

Across the 8 hours they never, ever leave the frame.

Every 30 minutes a break is signalled

bythe first 10 seconds of 'I've Got The Power' by Snap playing out across the Turnhalle PA.

At hour 5, burgers arrive to be devoured.

As the light changes, so do their levels of fatigue,

of combat proficiency, and determination.

Dominance and submission switch back and forth.

This is a reinscription of what relationships between lovers can be.

No winner, no loser, no fixed narrative,

only love as a practice of endurance.

Produced for the HIGHNESS video installation series.
Performed by Melanie Jame Wolf and The Lover
Shot by Sam Smith
Assisted by Tom Boppert
Night of Swords / 2017 / excerpt / 30 minutes