Amir Bastan

The Candle


This installation is the current state of an ongoing dilemma. First time in 2011 -in a video
performance titled: “Daily Monologues” the artist read a monologue while a burning
candle was placed in the gap between his mouth and a microphone. He was carefully adjusting the way he is breathing and pronouncing his speech to keep the candle burning. Two years later in 2012 he was represented as a silhouette figure attempting to
below a set of candles from a far distance in the form of a video installation titled: “Worn-out Mirrors”.

“The Candle” is the current state of this ongoing challenge. But this time the artist programed an
industrial robot equipped with a loudspeaker to float around a tall candle and challenge the
fragility of the flame by producing low frequency sounds. The robotic arm moves the
speaker around the flame while emitting the air caused by a variation of low frequency noises
generated in real-time. Movements of the robot are programmed to keep the speaker in a same
distance to the flame until the wick in the candle has burnt out.

This installation is the result of the transition from a symbolic discipline of communication in
form of language, to an imaginary presentation of the artist’s body; finally arriving in the real
order of the narrative. Here it is no more important what is the candle stands for or what is the
industrial robot is representing. They are both placeholders. A violent performance between
two empty objects: Is the flame being violated or being carefully challenged? Isn’t it how we
construct meaning for self in relation to the other?