URA ARU (the backside exists)

1985-86, 28:30 min, color, sound

In a masterful cross-cultural synthesis, URA ARU conforms palindromic word play (words or phrases reading the same backwards and forwards) to the underlying structure of the Japanese Noh drama. Noh is a drama of essential dualities — characteristically, two principles enact connections between mortal deeds and otherworldly consequences in mythic narratives that unfold in two scenes. In a series of compounded dualities mimetic of Noh, Hill composes evocative acoustic palindromes by reversing Japanese words: "hara/arah" binds belly to heart, "asu/usa" couples tomorrow with melancholy, and "ema/ame" makes an offering to rain. English counterparts like "live/evil" Anglicize the dynamic. Hill reverses words to release their doubles, and in an evocative sequence of these mirrored pairs, URA ARU envisions this process as a ritual renewal of counterpart realms.

With: Don Kenny, Katherine Anastasia, Kazvo Eda. Producers: Gary Hill, Katherine Anastasia.