1. PITFALL AND HAPPINESS
On an iMAC (the Internet computer of the times) can be seen images
of a marriage counsellor on Internet. The databank with portraits
of happy spouses, who have successfully followed Internet therapy,
In the rhythm of the following 28-line poem we see the images
rushing past us.
Subject: happiness via Internet
Healing via the telephone is an old treatment (help-lines), Internet
also has proved to be an outstanding method of offering help
and gaining happiness. About the degree of which everyone must
speak for themselves.
A chalk outline of a victim discovered on the floor of a cellar
in the house. The silhouette is filled with flower petals. Close
to the image a mobile telephone with a number (0 651 620 851)
and an invitation to ring the number. The visitor hears Harold
Pinter reading aloud the poem Daylight.
The silhouette on the floor is for me a poignant symbol of parting.
The flower petals through their large number the scent of sentiment.
The telephone represents for anonymous requests for help. Mostly
you drive past. Or you stand and watch. Questions such as what
should I do? can I do anything? am I a disaster tourist? Go through
your mind. But you can do something, pick up the phone.
In a bedroom stand a double bed, where only the bare springs
remain. The springs are divided in the middle by electric fence
wiring. On the ground the box where the wire is attached ticks.
Is the wire electrified? It is not known. On the bedside tables
left and right of the bed nothing. In the bedroom further nothing,
no clothes, no shoe just empty. There is a linen cupboard but
it's locked. Behind the bed hangs a frame with the text (screen
Subject: the darkness that we shared.
The marriage bed is for me the symbol of the current human desire
for community, togetherness, not wanting to be alone. The answer
to these desires is frequently thwarted by miscommunication (the
silent understanding of every person). What remains are bare
4. SAFETY BY REQUEST STOP
A living room, above everything cosily furnished and a television
showing the following images. Two 17-year-old boys (members of
a gang?) are standing somewhere in a suburb. Baseball caps on,
printed T-shirts. (Dialogue from Pinter's Request Stop)
Subject: safety and peace can't be enforced with violence.
Is the thought that peace can be achieved can be achieved with
violence a dangerous and seductive myth?
5. CURRENT REVENGE
In a very piercingly lit room where you have to shade your eyes
against the bright light, is with great difficulty the outline
of the electric chair used in Texas, to be seen. No fake just
the model specified by Fred A. Leuchter Inc., the firm that supplies
these chairs. You certainly can't look for long at the chair.
The light is too bright for that.
On a wall the hand-written text of Poem (Don't
In a room directly next to this area can be heard a recorded
voice that reads the specifications for the chair aloud. The
text is as follows:
This chair discharges exactly enough electricity to kill but
without burning the body. If the body of the convict should burn
any aesthetic considerations would be lost. It is namely the
most protocolised and extensively described penalty machine of
these times. Better specified than the gas chamber, the lethal
injection, firing squad, shooting in the head and hanging.
On the wall in this room are listed the names of the inmates
who will be electrocuted in Texas during the period of the exhibition.
Against one of the walls stands an open steel cupboard with shelves.
On the shelves lie transparent plastic sacs. The contents of
the sacs can be seen; watches, purses, necklaces, bunches of
keys, portrait photos. Also there is a pile of the protocols.
Subject: an eye for an eye and everyone is blind (Ghandi)
The electric chair is the most extensively protocolised lethal
punishment method on earth. It fulfils our need for revenge.
Everything is done to ensure that the punished after the shock
still looks relatively reasonable and any semblance that the
condemned has been roasted on an electric barbecue is avoided.
6. SCENT OF DISORDER
Outside in order of battle 21 crosses, made from perfumed
paraffin (incense), that burn to the ground and leaving a skeleton
of rusty reinforced iron over. In the garden the voice of Pinter
who reads aloud the poem Order.
7. FACE THE DEAD
In a straight-line, 7 mortuary tables and on each a reference
to unknown death drenched in the smell of Lysol.
Poem Death by Harold Pinter is recited by Mr. Pinter himself