The hour of prayer
"On that day, death entered our house, and time abandoned us there alone.
I took my feet off the ground and curled them up under me, and tried just to be.”
THE HOUR OF PRAYER is a short tale about attachment and death based on the artist’s own life. Via the events surrounding the death of a dog, it tells the story of death entering a house and the process of dealing with grief. These events begin in New York during a winter storm in January and end in Benin, West Africa, eleven months later.
The first part of the narrative follows the conventions of traditional narration, in which the words and events explain each other and form a chronological progression. As the narrator speaks, expressions of time are emphasized and images and sounds record the changes of season in various landscapes. The installation is made up of original video material shot at the time of the events and of reconstructed situations. The actor presents the story directly to the camera on a dark expanse of sand, which as the story progresses is revealed to be a set. The work moves away from the events in the story, becoming a more general presentation of an experience of death and loss. It ends with the actor walking through the different sets singing to viewers Lhasa’s “Small Song.”
The Hour of Prayer is shown in four simultaneous projections. The material is divided in four parts and the story has been edited to unfold on four screens. The intention is to explore the possibilities of disrupting the traditional causal logic, structure, and space for perception in screen narrative, whilst maintaining the coherence of the story and the interaction between different elements.