DENNIS OPPENHEIM ESTATE
Steel, masonite, sheet metal, smoke machine, stereo soundtrack, spotlight. 18 X 36 X 8
Soundtrack: (repeat): "You say you’re well has run dry... there’s nothing left inside... everything down below has stopped... run out... you say your well has dried up... the fire’s out and ideas have stopped. You say that stream down below isn’t flowing... you feel dry... your inside’s burnt away... have you stopped pumping, or is it true your source has left... you say you’re still going down, in search... for something although everything around you is scorched and cracking away... you say you knew the well was running dry because everything that came out was the same, (but you’re years past the pay dirt now) and you say you’re still going down... into darkness... so far past yourself you can’t remember where you stood, or what came out before... you say you’ve forgotten about the vein you struck years ago, that deep stream that seemed to go on forever, a line traveling through your body... to the center of the earth. Now you say you’re pumping but nothing’s coming through; well then, if your well’s run dry, where’s all this steam coming from-- if there’s nothing left to burn... what is it that fills the air... you say you haven’t noticed? Do you think what fills the air is the disintegration of emptiness inside you... or is it the exhausted land under you, which has itself become fuel... empty veins emitting poison gas... if it’s not this... how about the fear of being empty... of being prey for the steam of others? Is what fills the air a smoldering nightmare... that the veins under your ground are no longer yours... or is it this other source... that used your dead body as just another outlet... for it’s own identity... tell us how it feels to emit smoke from a source you do not know... how does it feel to expel a gas you yourself cannot breath... can you tell us how it feels to be pumping someone’s else’s fuel... you tell me how it feels for blood in your veins to flow and not be yours... and you say you can’t even feel this foreign pressure passing through the cracked walls of your insides, and you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be on top of an underground river, of your own discovery... so, we may not know where the smoke comes from; we know it doesn’t come from you... "
Collection Kunsthaus Zurich