John Miller

Pillars of Salt

July 3 – August 14, 1999

John Miller: Pillars of Salt. July 3 – August 14, 1999

Imagine a television show devoid of human beings, devoid even of human voices. Now imagine that this show is a game show. The camera freely peruses a deserted set, where various products and prizes come and go with requisite degrees of fanfare. No figures or faces obstruct the camera ́s course. Yet it has only a tableau to investigate and soon reaches the limits of its proscenium-arch world. Still, it obeys the unspoken rules, recording the given facade from the front only. The lighting remains flat and unchanging, immediatly dispelling any hope that the tableau might be haunted.

When might such a program go out into the world and who would be its audience? Its appeal would be clearly be limited. Yet, in this era of closely defined media cults, a show like this could nonetheless muster its own audience, even if that were only those who simply chose to watch out of frustration with television ́s other offerings. The ideal broadcast time would be any time during the hours of the normal working day. Then, the program would more likely reach an audience with enough time on its hands to pursue arcane interests, an audience impelled to seek its own likeness among the props on stage - like a retiree absent-mindedly finishing a picture puzzle.

John Miller, Berlin 1999