Interrogation of a Wild Pig Dig
a site specific installation at the Tikves dormitory,
Kopacki Rit, Croatia, 2008
grass, garbage can, electrical cable, socket, light bulb, electricity, light, shadow, wild pigs (0,5 x 2,5 x 4,5 m)
To further understand the inter a site late August, 2008. I was intending to do an 'interrogation' at an outdoor location, and when I discovered that some local wild pigs had paid a visit the night before our arrival, sniffing around the garbage can in front of our dormitory, tearing up the ground, investigating human trash, it became clear where I should begin my investigation.
Starting at the base of the designated garbage can, a flury of electrical cable is sewn into the surface of the earth, looping up and down, back and forth, ending in an illuminated light bulb which by day is oddly superfluous, but as night falls the light bulb begins casting telling shadows of everything in its path.
A log lays unsuspectingly on the ground nearby, and is in fact an observer of this interrogation. The log has witnessed the proceedings during the day and night, noting when the pig(s) returned to investigate my interrogation of them and subsequently pulled the cables out of the ground, ultimately tearing up my argument. This log, as witness and potential accessory, became the subject of another interrogation, to be presented as a sculptural installation together with photographic documentation of the crime scene, the wild pig dig.
In general, my "interrogation" installations consist of a light bulb (the interrogator), electrical cable, electricity (differentiating between light and dark) and the object or scenario to be investigated. Seen as a body of work, a connection to a classical interrogation room becomes apparent: a table, two chairs, and one brightly burning, naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling.
This reference draws attention to interrogation practices and torture techniques used throughout history, particularly those used today in the war on terrorism, or even just the anatomy of an interview, as practiced by the media. The pretense of establishing truth and attempting to define individual culpability of personal actions, ideologies, loyalties or lack thereof, comes into focus.
The importance of the light bulb cannot be overestimated as this light source is also the source of shadows, the illuminator of darkness. The shapes of the shadows are never entirely identical to the forms of the illuminated object, but rather approximations and distortions, leading us back to ask the question, was a crime even committed, or was it just an event interconnected with others but possessing no ulterior motive.
David Smithson © 2008-2015