Melanie Jame Wolf, Night of Swords, 2017, single-channel video, 480 minutes. Courtesy the artist

Night of Swords

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, a 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 by the first 10 seconds of ‘I’ve Got The Power’ by Snap playing out across the gymnasium PA. At hour 5, burgers arrive to be devoured. As the light changes, so do their levels of fatigue, of combatproficiency, and determination. Dominance and submission switch back and forth. No winner, no loser, no fixed narrative, only love as a practice of endurance.

Performed by Melanie Jame Wolf & The Lover

Director of Photography: Sam Smith

OPEN WINDOW is a series of presentations by the artists-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, who currently don’t have the chance to show their work in the usual Open Studios and exhibitions. Their works can be seen from 4 pm to 12 am at the window front, Kottbusser Str 10 each day.

16.11. – 25.11.2020
Mon - Sun: 4pm - 12am
Admission free