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Observation #762

Bart Dijkman

(The Netherland, 1997, video, 21:00)

Every day Dijkman films an event which occurs on the street where he lives. He does this with all the stealth and surreptitiousness of a security camera. The event is a neighbour parking his car, and what seems to be an innocent enough act, slowly induces feelings of amazement, hilarily and embarrassment in the viewer. It appears that we are apying on a severely neurotic person, who checks his car hi-fi and all the doors of his car countless times. This uncomfortable realisation is paralleled with the slowly mutating soundtrack in which the sounds of the surroundings slowly die away to be replaced by the noises the man himself is making – his footseteps, a bunch of rattling keys, opening and closing the car doors, turning the music on and off – that become louder and louder and increasingly more isolated. When he is finally content that his car is secure enough to leave alone for the rest of the day, the birds, who have been silent up till now, break out in song, like a jubilant, angelic choir.


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