Carina Emery & Julia Znoj - The Prompter's Clutch

For their first collaboration Carina Emery (1991) and Julia Znoj (1990) work with different media, conceiving the gallery space of Vin Vin as a watery lower level. The video loop Sinking Skills is a nonverbal telling of the rehearsal of an underwater complicity. The women in the video communicate with the viewer and each other through means other than oral speech. They record each other and trace each other’s movement, while building a structure or platform on an unsteady ground. Through the constant shifting of the porous styrofoam plates and attaching wires, strings, a hydrophone and underwater speakers, the water installation turns into a layered body that can record and support. The score of the video is composed by the Ukrainian electronic musician Zavoloka, using sounds that resemble organs which produce waves through air pressure. The juxtaposition of the two elements air and water can shape an understanding of how emotions and communication circulate and stagnate. The sound piece The Prompter´s Clutch deals with the idea of the unsteady backup. The voice in the tiny storage room, which has been cleared out to extend the exhibition space, is inhabited by a souffleuse who reflects on her given pretext. As in the myth of the Echo, having been stripped of her voice as punishment for a love fraud, she repeats first only what is being said to her, then leaving the given lines and starting to own these words. In the second room, soft and flattened objects appear to sink and rest, while others pierce, hold and clamp. 

The Prompter´s Clutch

come here

come here

maybe we could

we could find the anchor

you and me

water will somehow

reach the same level

in all parts of the system

even with me inside


it doesn't make any difference

at all

at all

this constant repetition

makes me feel close to you

like a steady drumbeat

unifying your melody

come here

come here

I heard your voice in the dark

anchored by a hair between my curious fingers

I grabbed it and that voice came rushing through

It crumbled, I saw it cleary

it was so there shimmering behind

for some instants I just lay

as you place and I displace

lagged love approacher

vocal chords were hanging from chains attached to the curtain

propelled away

when the trickling tongue quit dramaturges

they smashed onto the walls

swallowing tears

lipbiting reverberating

till they go

till they go

lips on a stone

face against the foam

the fluids leave you, dissolving in the big pool

maintained by chlorides and spit

I can refeel cold water streaking and beating

the hydrophone kept me wading through

I am available

I am available

salt missing

shallow sea water

no support for the drenched hound, that I seem to be

restlessly sending out waves to detect movement

these wavy rigid sides

turning around

then this straight line

I lost all of them

encrusted jewels

one by one

as I scratched the surface with my fidgety fingers

and the hands before they go

imagine the hands

loosing hair grip

she takes the script down to the shore

dressed in the landscape dress

that organ piece should bring the fish these sounds

hello fish dancing

get hooked and fished

my mouth opens so widely to encircle this one big pore

push the last sounds out

the water is a barrier at first

not taking in the waves I´m sending

listen to me please

I´m all dried out in this wet wet pond

there's love for you

I feel like mangrove breathing-tubes

sometimes even being smashed

or carried away by rough waves

always lying down a few feet from the tide

but the clouds

but the clouds

leaving streaks and breaking off the chains

dropping to a hissing whisper

twisting the knife still further

automation was the fear

and for years your operation on me has been unclear to me

the voice has disappeared for some time now

stuck in its once initial harbor

it escaped its censure

let them fall let them break

maybe let them loose what they had to say

call it an operetta of sinking skills

salt missing

shallow sea water

how can I empathize with a fish

these layered structures

a set of small rigid plates

it's your lamellar body armor

almost inaudible

behind these plates I change my octave

water will still diffuse into the fish

this way we must come together

come together