Drum en Showfanfare Mr H.M. van der Zandt, 2008, 2’40” Witte van Hulzen

Witte van Hulzen realises performances (often in collaboration with Sander Breure), produces drawings and photographs besides video works. Hulzen’s practice spanning a wide-range of media focuses on the condition of staging, the notion of the performative and the documentation of being involved in the act of doing something.
The video piece is a compilation of portraits of the members of the orchestra Drum en Showfanfare Mr H.M. van der Zandt, during a rehearsal, in silent. The fact that the piece is entitled by the name of the orchestra, glimpses on the condition of representation, in the way in which the piece attempts to capture the specificity of the group and surface this specificity as the bare condition.
The piece is structured upon a variety of contra-positives. The video is silent though it is displaying a group of people on the condition of rehearsing; the piece is on a group of people though single portraits are depicted throughout; the encounter is being documented at the same time ruptured by the presence of the camera; individuality of the members are in intonation though they are in a togetherness and interaction.
Unconventional in its aesthetics of production, the piece does not provide the whole: namely the place of the rehearsal, the sitting position of the members in relation to each other, the position of the camera. The fact that the camera moves from one individual to another with a pause of differing duration allows the surfacing of oscillating nature of the self. In other words, the fact that the members of the orchestra, sharing a common goal, are in continuous transition of reading notes, listening the conductor, understanding the comments, producing gestures as a response (confirmation, irritation, indifference, alienation…), training their instruments and claiming coherency of being present, displays the shifts in the way in which the members relate to their topic, themselves and their surrounding. In this line of thought the piece aims to grasp the performativity of the self in the act of the performance.
The piece, without sound also captures the moments of silence, for instance, the silence in aftermath of a spoken word, beforehand of the actual production (of sounds). Followed by an obnoxious encounter with their uncontrolled audience, in the way in which the members of the orchestra appear as if waiting for the camera to leave their premises to become the orchestra, thus to move from the domain of the visual to aural.