Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House

1983, 19:11 min, b&w, sound

Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House is a powerfully austere observation of the perceptual experience of the self in isolation, subjected to extended duration. Viola writes that this work is "an attempt to stay awake continuously for three days while confined to an upstairs room in an empty house. Recordings were made from a stationary black-and-white camera to chronicle the effects of the relentless passage of time on a solitary individual. The space becomes increasingly subjective as events slide in and out of conscious awareness and the duration becomes more and more brutal." Subtle transformations in light and sound, and the use of a wide-angle lens to create spatial ambiguities, further distort the viewer's perception of time and space, illusion and reality.

Production Assistant/Still Photographer: Kira Perov. Supervising Producer: Carol Brandenburg. Produced in association with the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen, New York.


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