GRETCHEN AT THE SPINNING WHEEL




Based on Gretchen and Spinnarade op.2, D.118 by Franz Schubert and

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's tragic play Faust (Part One, scene 15)


Gretchen weaves memories

On standby


           Fragment first


[The music of Franz Schubert builds and is quickly consumed. Pause. The wheel locks. The silence is heard as an emotional breakdown. This is a pain. A listener closer might notice that this is la petite mort: not a result of the memory of an ecstasy but its infinite gloom. She is thinking of Faust and all that he promises. The right hand mimics the perpetual movement of the spinning wheel and the left hand imitates the foot treadle. The treadle-like left hand keeps her rooted in reality. Gretchen comes down from this fantasy quicker. With a heavy heart, Gretchen surrenders to the hard truth. Goethe spoke about the burden of waiting where land is petrified by bitterness. At this point, a grave is raised]


Gretchen

Crazy woman!

Locked in your room

Looking out for him


Weaving with clouds of omen a new plot


His proud steps,

His noble figure,

His smiling lips,

His eyes: their power.


               Another Fragment


[To Meet:

Act or effect of finding something or someone.

Casual position face to face with a person or thing.

Combat unforeseen between two bodies. Collision.

To duel.

Confluence of rivers.

Point of articulation of the wings of birds. Or like two arrows that

meet in mid-air.

Settlement]


Gretchen

Crazy woman!

Locked in your room

Looking out for him


I hear you at every turn of the wheel  


And kiss him,

The way I wish,

So I might die,

At his kiss!


[To meet in suspension

To meet is being suspended]

MEET

Thinking With Our Hands

RABBITHOLE PROJECTS, 33 Washington Street, Brooklyn, NY, 2016



Single channel video-poem installation. 3:10m. 2014-2016

Video narration in Portuguese written in 2012

Wall Poems 1 &2 (2012-2013. revision: 2016)

Conceptualized, produced, and edited by Simone Couto



“Meet” is a video-poem by Simone Couto based on Gretchen and Spinnarade op.2, D.118 by Franz Schubert and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's tragic play Faust (Part One, scene 15). In the video-poem, Gretchen hands make two doll chairs under a retro-projector on a standby plot while she waits for Faust. As in the song, her hands allude to the monotony of the craft, the wait, and the burden of reality.