(Rotterdam / Antoine Platekade 995, Rijnhavenzijde / Plint New Orleans)
Nicholas O’Brien’s video The Natural (1985, United States) challenges the expectations of the viewer. The work alternates cinematographic landscapes with panoramic views from recent nature documentaries. Panoramic shots in films are generally used as a means to overwhelm the audience with breathtaking natural beauty and they create a short pause in the narrative. In this way, abstract transitional spaces are created that can be monumental as well as serene. By combining these scenes with shots from blockbuster films The Natural investigates how the distinction between fact and fiction becomes blurred. The artist opens our eyes and ears to the soundtracks that generally accompany nature images: crescendo, dramatic classical music with lots of strings. This auditory addition is meant to carry the viewer away and subject him to an ‘overwhelming experience’ of the grandeur of nature. Hollywood motion pictures and nature documentaries both employ this technique. O’Brien points this out and composes a soundtrack of his own through editing image and sound.