Work of Eye

Barbora Kleinhamplová & Zbyněk Baladrán
full HD video, 7:18, 2014

“Work of Eye” is inspired by a research of Jan Evangelista Purkyně, the 19th century experimental scientist, who dedicated his research to eyesight and its relation to experience and very essence of vertigo feelings brought about by rotating movements. His experiments using merry-go-round or see-saw served for therapeutical procedures. Under the category of vertigo he included illusions as well as fallacies. The vertigo theme is framed by an experience of corporate sector. The camera is rotating inside an open office, it evokes a sense of heaviness and confusion. Whispering voices that accompany the camera`s movement tell a story of bemused clerk who, frustrated and lost all alone with his feelings, wanders around the office.


It happens to me that I walk around the office upside down: head down, feet on the ceiling.
I can’t reach my files. I don’t know why they stay on the desk and don’t fall down on the ceiling.

Sometimes I expand so much that I can’t get through the door. I blow up until I fill the whole room. Then I have to wait till the end of the working day to deflate.

When I go to the copier, often I can’t find the way back. So as not to lose face, I act like I’m visiting the office of a colleague and feign interest him, meanwhile trying to think of someone familiar who’s based near me.

Corridors very often change their angles and lengths. Sometimes it takes me days to get from my office to Liquidations.

With every blink of my eye I become someone else – the CEO, the receptionist, the accountant.
It’s always me, after all.
Sometimes I try keeping my eyes closed longer, resting at the same time, but in the dark distorted office supplies start to appear behind my eyelids, changing proportions, growing and shrinking, and I’m afraid to rest.

Sometimes I don’t pay attention and go through a door badly. The door jam splits me vertically into two pieces. Then it’s hard to be one and be in one room.

I’ve been working here a long time. I haven’t found the exit yet.

I think there is some kind of hierarchy operating here that’s based on sexual prowess and subordination. They’ve never let me in on a conference.

I go to the toilet, but the corridor leading to it keeps getting narrower. I keep going as long as I can move. I feel it squeezing me. I go to the toilet again.

There’s no one here. I’ve been working here several years and I’ve never met anyone.

Behind every door is a different room.

Behind every door is the same room.

The angles of all the corners in the rooms are sharper than 90°. I know that for sure. Due to that, the whole building is collapsing in on itself.

When I open a door a crack and the right conjugation occurs, I can see along the corridor through the ventilation shaft and in the reflection in the mirror in the ladies’ toilet all the way to the CEO’s office, to the back of the seated CEO.

I gave notice. My colleague are looking at me askance because of it. It makes me giddy.