Monday, September 24, 2007

The first days

The last few days we have been very busy. Our ordered power-extension cables emerged last tuesday evening as about 1500 metres of cables on rolls, without any plugs, so we had first to "produce" and connect all of them. The next night we installed all the lights at the Bab al-Yemen, with the help of some very nice Yemeni, French and German people. But there was still no electricity, until finally at Thursday night a big generator (300000W!!!) was brought and parked in front of the Bab al-Yemen. Unfortunately this was to late to beginn with the show on the same day, so we could start only on September 21. After two shows with some technical problems (f.e. on Saturday evening the generator was overheated, because it run for 5 hours in advance to do some tests, and shut down half an hour after the installation had started), everything run yesterday quite smoothly. We still have to fix some minor technical problems, but now it is becoming fun again. The people at the Bab al-Yemen really seem to like the installation, each evening the place is filled up with people. Sometimes it is really hard for us to concentrate during the daily setup of the cube and the two main projectors, because we are surrounded by so many people, that are curiously watching each step we take, but it is also a great experience doing some patching in between all the people. I think, back in Germany there should be nothing what can discomfit us so easily. We are very very happy to be here in Sanaa, and about all the support we get locally! It is really great to do a installation of this dimension in the Yemen.

The construction of the cube was finished on the evening of September 20th....the place where all the wires get connected to the generator, and three of our Yemeni friends, that support us. In a fairy tale somebody would now say, "Anyhow, it works!". Unfortunately this is no fairy tale, but still the electrical situation is now much better than it looks like.

...and finally some of the first images of the show.
In the next days, when we have some more time, we will upload some videofiles to our You-tube channel, and also set up a photo-album in the internet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


designed by Mohamed al Huraish

Monday, September 17, 2007

Back to Sana'a

Our first test with one of the 2 big projectors

Since our last posts a lot has happened. After we arrived in Germany from our first trip to Sanaa, Matthias had to go immediately to Switzerland for work, but still provides us now via internet with 6-channel audio-files for the installation at the Bab al-Yemen.
Rene and I had (then back in Giessen) to deal a lot with organisational matters and some general tryouts, and we both are now again in Sanaa since 10 days. Beside all the artistic video, light and audio-stuff, the development of a general timeline for the installation (which is now supposed to run for 2 hours each day between September the 20. and October the 3), and the further elaboration of the concept, one of our main tasks is actually to make sure, that all the technical and constructional material we need for the installation, will be provided right in time.
We are now quite professional in writing "to-do"-lists (i think we could do a new installation, just pinning the walls of the Bab al-Yemen with self-written lists of all kind :-) ), and had a lot of meetings and appointments with most different people.
A public-space installation of this size is quite new for the Yemen, and so there are a lot of aspects you have to think about, you never would deal with in a European country. But to be honest, we never thought about that as an obstacle, and this challenge became even some kind of fun for us. All we do has (at least regarding the technical aspects) always to be in a balance of being realistic and possible, and since we decided from the very beginning to "extend what is possible as much as possible", we have been very conscious about all that stuff.
Here in Sanaa, we are very grateful for all the support we get, especially for the great oppurtunity to prepare all the work in the French Cultural Center (which became our "working space" for the last 10 days) and for all the people, that help(ed) us where they can(could). Once the installation is running, we will post another message, and thank all of them personally.