Created and directed by Margarethe Baillou and produced by Baillou and Madeline S. McEneney, "One After" consists of 17 one-minute films depicting Texas nature between Independence Day and Thanksgiving 2008 during the hours of every execution that occurred in the state in those months. "We set aside all textual and verbal narration for this work," says Ms. Baillou, a German filmmaker based in New York. "This leaves any opinions, personal interpretations and moral responses directly with the viewer, whom we recognize as a witness." The installation was staged on October 10 in observance of World Day Against the Death Penalty.
"Knowing the filmmaker and the gallery space I realized we needed an external production company to pull everything together," says producer Anna Velasco, owner of Banana PR, which coordinated the event for M.Y.R.A. (Movement. Youth. Resources. Art.) Entertainment. "Ryan and Lance had the energy and drive to realize the filmmaker's vision. They did an excellent job, and we hope to work with them again when the opportunity arises."
Velasco notes that "the filmmaker's vision of 'One After' was to create a cultural experience where each guest would simulate being a witness to an execution happening in Texas in 2008. By designing a mini-maze of cold steel bars, Tinc helped guests examine how they felt about the death penalty."
The installation sought to simulate feelings associated with prison and provide a taste of the claustrophobic atmosphere with white-washed walls and steel truss. There was even a set of guidelines for guests, in accordance with the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, which had them adhere to a dress code, show a picture ID and be searched with a hand-held metal detector prior to entering the gallery space.
Tinc's Lance Darcy filled the gallery with a maze of truss supporting 17 LCD screens that displayed the short films as if they were canvases. "There were several key themes for the event," he notes, "one of which was confinement, so we wanted to induce crowding and make guests feel uncomfortable. There were no hors d'oeuvres served and no music. We hung the monitors really low so people would have to crowd around and be in each other's way.
"Using bars or pipe was a natural consequence of me not liking plasma stands," he continues. "And they fit thematically. With bars everywhere the ceiling felt lower than it actually was and added to the perception of confinement."
Initially the filmmaker thought the installation would require 17 projectors and displays. "But once we looked at the space and talked about what they wanted to do, we decided projectors wouldn't work in the space," notes Tinc's Ryan Kirk. "We went through a number of concepts before we landed on the LCD design."
"The LCDs were great: lightweight and easy to put up," reports Darcy. "It's amazing that we put up all 17 in just six hours."
Darcy deployed LED uplighting in blue to contrast the greens and ambers that were on the displays. "We didn't want guests' eyes to get saturated," he says. "The uplit truss looked really good and served to make the space seem smaller, darker and more squeezed together."
The installation was set up and torn down the same day. "We walked in at 9 am and completed the set up by 3 pm," recalls Kirk. "The event started at 6 pm, was over by 8 and we were out of the space by 11:30. I don't know any other company that could have done that. The crew and shops all did an amazing job. VER, which supplied the video equipment, and 4Wall Entertainment, which furnished the lighting, were both terrific. It was great having them with us."
From Tinc's perspective, the event was "great to work on because the client was so open to us helping with the design," Darcy points out. "We were able to work with them on a much more conceptual level which we enjoyed."
At Tinc, Melissa Johnston was production electrician. The crew included Seth Bernstein, Adam Lewis, Dan Jennewein, Misha Blagojevic, Nicole Brickley, Leo Penizzotto, Gary Jarvis, and Hondo Weiss-Richmond
About Tinc Design & Productions
Tinc Design & Productions is a full-service staging, lighting, video and audio company dedicated to the performance and special events markets. Tinc's staff and dedicated freelance personnel encompass the worlds of engineering, rigging, programming, design, drafting, lighting, audio and live/mediated motion and still images. Project after project, and with over 50 years of combined experience, they offer a comprehensive and sophisticated range of services unmatched anywhere else. For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.tincproductions.com.