Invisible Man

 

Invisible Man
2005- Digital Video

"The truth is the light", Ralph Ellison wrote the Invisible Man in 1947. In the first eight pages of his novel he eloquently describes his protagonist's struggle to find identity in the darkness of a damp basement. In this piece Pinder wires the light in the room. This represents a well-known scene from Ellison’s classic novel, a room “warm and full of light” in which Ellison’s narrator lives, complete with its 1,369 lightbulbs. Energy and light, stolen from the electric company, illuminate not only the character’s basement dwelling, but also the truth of his existence. He tells us, “Light confirms my reality, gives birth to my form…. Without light I am not only invisible but formless as well; and to be unaware of one’s form is to live a death…. The truth is the light and light is the truth.”

In this piece, Pinder creates a space based on the prologue of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Starting in darkness, he is gradually exposed to light, one bulb at a time. The intense light becomes too much for the camera to handle and gradually he is forced into a consequential white out in which he is engulfed by this intense blob of light. There is no visual editing. The special effects happen purely when the camera is over exposed to the 1,369 lights on the ceiling (Courtesy of Monopolated Power).I n this piece his performance is minimal. Similar to Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests the focus becomes an honest attempt to become one with the environment. He is not to act. He is not to move. Pinder's job is to breathe and allow himself to be a prop in the piece. His job is to allow the lights to control his existence.