[NetBehaviour] Big Kiss Redux (foreplay version) for Annie Abrahams

Annie Abrahams bram.org at gmail.com
Mon May 21 17:38:23 CEST 2018

Hi Anthony,
Thanks for this description (I also couldn't find more information), but as
far as I understand it resembles *Double Entendre* from 1981 which Douglas
Davis himself describes :

[Double Entendre] was a link between me at the Whitney Museum of American
Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. There was a woman in
Paris and I was in New York. We engage in a conversation that turns into
flirtation and seduction. I am speaking only in English, and she is
speaking only in French, but we are saying the same things to each other,
doubling the language. Often the lines came out of a then-new text by
Roland Barthes, the «Lover's Discourse». […]
«Double Entendre» was a video piece that had to depend for most of its 30
minutes on audio, primarily because we didn’t have the budget for the
transmission of moving images. So for most of the performance you just
heard these people speaking. The words were on the screen, but you didn't
see the speakers until the last five minutes.
At the end of the performance I say: «I can't stand the seperation anymore.
I am coming across the Atlantic right now.» That related to Barthes’s text.
In it, he talks about both love and language being a kind of leap. So I
plead with her to stay where she is and run out of the Whitney Museum. Next
you see me on the video, finally moving, running down Park Avenue. She
speaks with the audience, asking them if she should leave or if she should
stay. In the end, she decides to run away. So she races down to the Plaza
in front of the Centre Pompidou, and I land, live, right in front of her!
We chase each other around, and I finally embrace her. «Double Entendre»
ends with our embrace, far away, in the twilight - it's evening in Paris,
afternoon in New York. As we stand there, merging into the darkness, two
voices speak simultaneously, in French and English, speculating on the
double meaning of what just occured live.
So that means that you were in Paris all the time?
Davis: No. It means the double is everywhere, as intended in the title. He
was a really incredible double, he looked and walked exactly like me. I
went to Paris and rehearsed with him. All the critics who saw the work on
video were convinced that the landing and running action had been taped,
but it was absolutely live.
(source: Douglas Davis, in: Tilman Baumgärtel: [net.art] New Materials
towards Net art, Nürnberg 2001, pp. 57f.)


On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 4:16 PM, Anthony Stephenson via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

>> Ha! Wonderful! -wonderful original and wonderful found tribute!m.
>> ...
>>   Dear Annie, I saw these
>>      and thought of this  X Ruth
> In the late seventies, I remember going to a performance in Santa Monica,
> California. In a dark performance space, two sets of monitors and cameras
> faced each other about twenty feet apart. Douglas Davis proceeded to
> interact with the monitor that was not monitoring him – there was a girl
> who was doing the same with him through the other monitor. There was a text
> that would come on the screen (as well as either spoken or pre-recorded?)
> as they, in an almost dance-like way, would approach and retreat from each
> other. It was almost like a prelude to the Big Kiss. Then, just as they
> were starting to get close, he runs out the door. A one-hour intermission
> was announced. An hour later the girl is now the performer – she had just
> flown down from the San Francisco where Mr. Davis had now taken her place
> as they proceeded to finish the performance.
> (I tried finding it on the web, the best I could do is the title: "Two
> Cities, Flesh, a Text, and the Devil".)
> --
> - *Anthony Stephenson*
> *http://anthonystephenson.org/ <http://anthonystephenson.org/>*
> _______________________________________________
> NetBehaviour mailing list
> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
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