I thought of making a series of pieces with characters in Hamlet. I read Hamlet 4 or 5 times to analyse the plots and characters. At a glance, Claudius was depicted as the villain but in Act 3, he confessed his guilt to God.
“My stronger guilt, defeats my strong intent, And like a man to double businesse bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect; what if this cursed hand Were thicker then it selfe with Brothers blood, Is there not Raine enough in the sweet Heauens To wash it white as Snow?"
In this part, Hamlet tries to kill him, but he doesn’t. Shakespeare tries to express a dialectic nature of human being.
Good and evil, Angel and devil. This seems somewhat cliché but it is still very powerful. The bracket is a metaphor of life. Once a bracket opens, it ends up closing someday. This has likeness to our life and, of course, the destiny of King Claudius.
The Hand has been technically advanced from Ophelia’s Skull. I attempted to make a complex multi-sensory method. Hence, I set up an electric circuit and a servomotor inside the wooden hand, and made it move by proximity sensors. The mechanism of the hand is quite simple. It’s like a puppet, pulling and releasing wires.
The material, Wood, is significant here. Obviously, It is a robot, but made of wood not metal. And, it imitates human behaviour, that’s quite a bit spooky. And, in distance, the lilies and the hand seem static. So, it provokes people’s unexpectedness as audiences approach the sculpture.
Sounds and moving images along with the real kinetic object are combined into a single work like the Ophelia’s Skull. However it is deemed that this is a bit more intriguing. Claudius’ Hand is on an antipode of the Ophelia’s Skull. More obscure and dynamic than the Skull that is a bit feminine, and subtle and static.
Two proximity sonar sensors are in operation in the installation, and they are reacted by the distance between audience and the table. The sensors are hidden under the table, front and the right hand side, and detect objects. Once the sensors detect any kind of solid object, it sends a signal to both a circuit and a laptop. The frequency of the motion varies depending on the two distance levels. The closer the object approaches, the faster the hand moves.
Installation is one of the most difficult parts in this project. The ceiling does not yield enough distance to make enough size of the film onto the table. It needs at the shortest 3 meters in order to make a 1 square meter projection image but the ceiling of the space is only 2.5 meters. Hence, the 45 degree sloped mirror is set up to enlarge the projection image. Pinpoint accurate calculation of angles and distance were crucial.
This exhibition is part of World Shakespeare Festival 2012, which was organised by Royal Shakespeare Company (www.rsc.or.uk). 10 people including myself were participated in the exhibition that was held from 11th August until 3oth September 2012, in Swan Room at the company. The head theatre of the company is located in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, which is a hometown of William Shakespeare. The exhibition were curated by Peter Anderson, produced by Sarah Ellis and Ida Barellini.