The Soldier and The Queen
© By Amanda Dunsmore
The Soldier and The Queen, video installation bring together Shakespeare’s ancient Rome and Ireland’s contemporary political arena. The artist alludes to humanity’s passions and - like the prisoners she originally worked with in the Maze – she finds solace in literature, education and silence.
The installation comprises of a three part video projection, continuously looped. The exhibition space was black, apart from a small reading spot light illuminating Shakespeare’s Anthony & Cleopatra which the audience was encouraged to browse through. Three projectors beam selected words onto three pillars in the space over a period of the spoken narrative. This text reads ‘War. War turn war. Slip turn beyond. Seek Sex. Bastards. Past Grief. Past wants him. Past wants strife. Another death. Another love. Another duty. Another irony. Another one, like a fool. Sick and sullen. Eternity. Equality. Idle. Conceit. Views. Natural pleasure. O will full. O deceit full. O spite full. Quarrel no more. I am. Prepare for battle. Soldier. Nights. Of his bones. O. Peace or War. Who shall stand. On that day.’
Two male voices recite a expanded narrative of the projected text. One voice is a deep rich Derry accent & recites the scribbled notation found in the margins of the book. The other voice is a classic Shakespearian actor who recites the text underlined from the play by the internees from the original book. The projected words are timed to appear when pronounced by the voices. The elements of word & voice create another fractured story, within a story. The piece loops every 5 minutes.