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Call me Ismael: reading from Moby Dick by two speakers and two loudspeakers. photo: Geert van Mil

Call me Ismael

The artists couple Doris Denekamp and Geert van Mil based their activities during a 3-months residency in Het Vijfde Seizoen in psychiatric institution Willem Arntshoeve in Den Dolder, on Herman Melville's famous story: Moby Dick.
Parts of this story, which is rich of symbols and possible meanings, were modestly and gently sprinkled over the area by the artists by means of readings and written text fragments, while at the same time they rewrote certain chapters, relating them to stories of inhabitants, as reacting on Melville's story during group- or individual interviews.

Geert and Doris invited me to take part in their literary project where they wanted to focus on reading aloud, live or recorded.
For this they suggested to work with two enormous aluminium 'mosq-loudspeakers' which they brought from Istanbul some years ago.

On a Sunday afternoon we installed the loudspeakers on poles on both sides of a huge tree, which, with a bank around its trunk and situated next to the institutes' café, functions as a meeting point.
Doris and I took place on the bank in opposite directions, each of us connected with one of the loudspeakers by a microphone.
The volume was adjusted in such a way, that both our real- and our amplified voices were audible for listeners sitting on the bank.
During the opening hours of the café - from 13.30 till 16.30 - we simultaneously read aloud from Moby Dick, starting at the very beginning: 'Call me Ismael'