Guadalcanal Requiem

1977, re-edited 1979, 28:33 min, color, sound

One of Paik's most overtly political and poignant statements, Guadalcanal Requiem is a performance/documentary collage that confronts history, time, cultural memory and mythology on the site of one of World War II's most devastating battles. Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands is the iconic setting upon which Paik inscribes symbolic gestures and performances. Scenes of Charlotte Moorman performing with her cello, interviews with American and Japanese veterans and Solomon Islanders, and archival footage of the battle are juxtaposed, synthesized, layered, colorized and otherwise electronically manipulated. The imagery is haunting and often surreal: Charlotte Moorman crawls along the beach in a G.I. uniform with a cello strapped to her back, plays a Beuys felt cello, and performs while concealed in a body bag. The subtext of this extraordinary collage is Paik's assertion that global conflict arises as a result of cultural miscommunication.

Guest: Bob Edwards. Cinematographer: Steve Mason. Narrator: Russell Connor. Location Director: Frank Pilleggi. Sound Effects: Laurie Spiegel. Camera: Bill Viola, Michael Pursche, Peter Hardy, Richard Maude, Graham Hellett. Produced by the TV Lab at WNET/ Thirteen.

 
 

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See also