01-thelostreflection

The Lost Reflection

sp07_Mensing_L

 

The Lost Reflection, Torminbrücke, Münster 2007. artintelligence

 

The Lost Reflection, Torminbrücke, Münster 2007. April Hudson

 

The Lost Reflection, Torminbrücke, Münster 2007. Fuyumi Namioka

 

The Lost Reflection, Torminbrücke, Münster 2011. Simone Schmidt

 

The Lost Reflection, Torminbrücke, Münster 2011. Simone Schmidt

 

hoffman

The Tale of Giulietta, opening scene. lammermoor9999

Torminbrücke Münster, 2007.
Two-channel sound installation.
2 minutes, 5 seconds.
Skulptur Projekte Münster ’07.

The Lost Reflection

When I first arrived in Münster, I was given a map, a bike and was left to my own devices. After cycling round the promenade a few times I started to become interested in the Aasee, an artificial lake in the center of the city. The opening stretch of water is quite wide and despite the artificial nature of the Aasee, I was still able to see it as a space for projection. It was only when I went cycling under the Tormin Bridge that spans the Aasee that everything seemed to fall into place. Passing under the bridge I liked the way it instantly got darker, the way the sounds echoed and then, within a few seconds, you emerged back into the daylight again. I’d read that The Tales of Hoffmann was based on stories by the author E.T.A. Hoffmann and siting my work in the dark underside of the bridge seemed to fit. In this work I recorded myself singing the soprano and mezzo soprano parts of Jacques Offenbach’s Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffmann. My voice was split across two separate channels and the recordings call out to each other from the two sides of the lake. The barcarolle begins as a call and response duet. Both voices come together in harmony only to separate again.

The Tale of Giulietta

The barcarolle features in the opening scene of The Tale of Giulietta, a story about how the courtesan Giulietta steals Hoffmann’s reflection from the enchanted mirror and therefore captures his soul. There’s a great film adaptation by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, where Giulietta sings the Barcarole with her own reflection as it takes on a life of its own. This is a clip from the opening scene with Ludmilla Tcherina lip-syncing to Margherita Grandi’s voice. George A Romero listed The Tales of Hoffmann as one of his all time favourite films. He said it was the film that inspired him to make films himself.  In an interview Romero says that both he and Martin Scorcese were fighting over the same 16mm copy of The Tales of Hoffmann from the same film rental company in New York.