3 Site-specific Videos: Obscure, Wait, Yards

Yards (thumbnail), photo Cynthia Troup

YARDS (—or within any other limits prescribed by law)

To be spoken with an authoritative speaking voice, tone, diction and manner. Also as though somewhat defiantly committed to speaking aloud, despite the probability that your words will be of no consequence; perhaps even despite some threat that negative consequences will follow from your remarks. You lose this courage—the authoritative tone evaporates—during the last line, into the ellipsis.

Ah, today then, today I am at liberty?

At liberty to speak?

But it is false to suggest that in practice free speech is equally available to all.

Likewise, then, it is false to suggest that …

Beginning in 2003, these three video projects were initiated by artist and curator Sandra Bridie, and premised on adherence to a set of formal constraints. The resultant works—Obscure (2003), Wait (2004), and Yards (2005)—followed from close collaboration with Bridie. One of the prescribed constraints was the length of the finished work. Other parameters concerned details of structure, and the inclusion of particular visual, sound or text motifs—for example, a soliloquy spoken on screen as part of Obscure, or 10 phrases to serve as intertitles for Wait. As site-specific projects, each was first screened in or as near as possible to the space in which filming took place. Yards was filmed in the Alumni Courtyard of RMIT University’;s City Campus, formerly the Old Melbourne Gaol Hospital Compound and Wardmen’s Yard (1865–1925), and the Victoria Police Garage (1925–1994). The script took its themes from the nineteenth-century phrase ‘liberty of the yard’.

Creative Team

Yards (subtitled—or within any other limits prescribed by law), 5.5 minutes:

  • Writer & Director Cynthia Troup
  • Performers Eugene Schlusser, Raphael Trioli
  • Camera David Young
  • Music Rubie Bridie
  • Editing Sandra Bridie, Cynthia Troup

Wait (Immanence), 6 minutes:

  • Writer Sandra Bridie
  • Director & Performer Cynthia Troup
  • Camera David Young
  • Music David Young (from Scale)
  • Editing Sandra Bridie, Cynthia Troup

Obscure (or We’ll see, She Remembers), 13.15 minutes:

  • Writer Cynthia Troup
  • Director Eugene Schlusser
  • Performers Chloe Gleeson, Cynthia Troup
  • Camera David Young
  • Voiceover Rosemary Walsh
  • Editing Sandra Bridie, Cynthia Troup

Performance History

28 October: Melbourne, Kaleide Theatre RMIT University, Yards first screened
19 December: Melbourne, Ocular Lab, Wait first screened, together with Obscure
28 June: Melbourne, CLUBSproject, Obscure first screened

Further Reading

Wait catalogue entry, Hostings: Ocular Lab, 2003–2010, edited by Julie Davies and Brad Haylock (Melbourne: Surpllus, 2012), p. 14 (image); p. 110

Yards media release, Kaleide Theatre RMIT University; read here