Burgin Chapter 1

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S.R. What do you consider the strongest influence on your practice?

V.B. It's difficult to think of a single influence, and even if one were to give a single instance, one would have to periodize it. There are clearly things that influence one differently at different moments in history. Again, influence, but I would think rather interest; for the past five or more years I've been particularly interested in the Baroque period, especially musical theatre, especially in France. So most of the reading that I've been doing over the past five years or so has been in the area of French Baroque music and musical theatre. Well, this is not something that directly enters the work; only occasionally in the videos you have a little bit of Baroque music on the soundtrack, and earlier this year in France, I had a commission where I actually included the performance of a piece, the very first performance of a piece that has been languishing as a manuscript in the Biblioth̬que Nationale for some 300 years, and we had the first performance of that piece as part of a video. But it's not something that comes into the work directly; but it's rather an ethos, it's rather a structure, a way of approaching representation. I think I'd probably say that these structures Рif you like, in the most abstract sense Рare with one, as part of one's Рin lack of a better term at this point Рas part of one's personality or part of one's psychical make-up. Perhaps what happens is that at different moments in life, we find these structures in external objects, and these external objects can change over time. As I say, most recently in Baroque musical theatre.

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