A text-based single-channel video and handmade leather-bound book using the movie Taxi Driver (1976) as its source.
(First few scenes can be viewed by playing the video on this page.)
Empty Orchestra uses only, and all of, the subtitles from Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver. The video work is a hand-drawn replication of the subtitles of the original movie. Each subtitle is drawn onto individual sheets of paper that are then scanned, the drawing erased and the page re-scanned. The video is also constructed based on the original timing of the subtitles in Taxi Driver. The book contains all the remnant sheets of paper, comprising approximately 1200 pages. The pages have had the subtitles erased, so the viewer sees the slightest traces of text. The only thing left of Taxi Driver is the time structure and the subtitles.
Without the actors, scenes and images, the subtitles are disjointed and nonsensical, confronting a viewer who has no idea what the confrontation is. The book stands as the physical record of the drawings, but with only a trace of the text remaining. The original content of these drawings only exists as scanned images in a film.
Single-channel video (1:47:01)
Handmade leather-bound book (300 x 240 x 230mm)