The Senses: Play in Camera (sense of sight)

A 4 Monitor video installation
3 moni­tors displaying English subti­tles, one extra with surveil­lance camera
Super 8 film edited on lo-band Umatic video, 7 minutes 9 seconds, repeated 8 times for a 1‑hour auto rewind tape

This video instal­la­tion was made at Sheffield Hallam Univer­sity during the Colin Walker Fellow­ship in Fine Art, a year’s teaching resi­dency, (GB)

A docu­men­ta­tion of Play in Camera (trailer 2:40 minutes) was made with mate­rial filmed by Nick Stewart at the Colin Walker Fellow­ship exhi­bi­tion, Sheffield Hallam Univer­sity 1992, edited on DVD by Rainer Nelissen 2009

A single screen DVD with German subti­tles and trailer of 10 minutes was produced in 2009, edited by Mirco Sanftleben (Pixel 2 Motion) (D). The spec­ta­tors are also filmed during the presen­ta­tion; the mate­rial is screened live next to the DVD images.

The Senses – a collec­tion of works:

The Senses: Play in Camera (sense of sight)
The Senses: Play it by Ear & An Ear for You (sense of sound)
The Senses: Ô d’Oriane (sense of smell)
The Senses: Zucchini (sense of taste)
The Senses: Inti­macy (sense of touch)

Play in Camera presents the spec­tator with repeated and repet­i­tive video images of three protag­o­nists on three sepa­rate screens. There is no sound­track but English subti­tles appear under the video portraits. The texts are taken from two plays, alter­nately: In Camera’ by Jean-Paul Sartre 1944 and Play’ by Samuel Beckett 1962 – 63. On the fourth screen the viewer is seen captured live, by surveil­lance camera. The video instal­la­tion is about reflec­tion and self-reflec­tion. In both the cited pieces the char­ac­ters are trapped in an after-life struggle coming to terms with them­selves. Their lives have all ended badly because of selfish behav­iour. In a halfway house between life and death, three char­ac­ters in two different plays, are condemned for eter­nity, to relive the most trou­bled moments of their personal relationships.

Tanya Ury

Man: I know now, that all that was just…play. And all this? When will all this-”

Inez to Garcin:

One always dies too soon — or too late. And yet. One’s whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it ready for summing up. You are your life, and nothing else.”

Extract from Play in Camera


1992 Colin Walker Fellow­ship exhi­bi­tion, Depart­ment of Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam Univer­sity (GB)

2009 (10) The Senses, on the occa­sion of the Inter­cul­tural Days: single screen video screening with live element, Arkadas Theater, Bühnen der Kulturen (Stages of Diverse Cultures) Cologne (D)

2009 (1.11) Single screen DVD with German subti­tles & live camera, The Senses, a multi­media solo event during the Inter­cul­tural Days, 8 pm Arkadas Theater — Bühne der Kulturen (Stages of Diverse Cultures) Cologne (D)




Concept, camera, edit: Tanya Ury

Text extracts from Play’ 1962 – 3, Samuel Beckett,

Collected Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett, Faber and Faber 1984, (GB)

Text extracts from Huis Clos (In Camera) 1944, Jean-Paul Sartre,

In Camera and Other Plays Jean-Paul Sartre, Penguin (GB1989

German subti­tles:

Text extracts from Spiel“, 1962 – 3 from Theater­stücke” (theatre pieces) by Samuel Beckett, German edition 1995, publishers: Suhrkamp Taschen­buch ISBN 351838901 7, and from Huis Clos“, 1944, by Jean-Paul Sartre from Geschlossene Gesellschaft“, Rowohlt Taschen­buch Verlag (publishers), 46th edition 2008, ISBN 978 3 499 15769 1)


Screen 1: Inez Serrano, W1 (woman 1), Natasha Morgan

Screen 2: Joseph Garcin, M (man), Marc Chaimovicz

Screen 3: Estelle Rigault, W2 (woman 2), Sophie Dix

Screen 4: Valet Erskine, butler, Live spectator

Publi­ca­tions & Press

Artist’s Writ­ings & Publications

2009 (1.11) The Senses on the Arkadas Theatre, Bühne der Kulturen (Stages of Diverse Cultures) website Cologne (D) www​.buehned​erkul​turen​.de

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