August 2016


The Quintet of the Astonished


We took this video by Bill Viola out for a vox pop on Oxford St and here are some of the responses:-


William: “It slowly dawned on me that I had some moving thoughts in slow motion and some in real time – and could fast forward or rewind them at the flick of a switch or by a still offering up of a prayer.”


Jane: “I quickly intuited that this was a construction. Is there one for dieting?”


Declan: “Thanks very much – I’m going to show this at my next local Labour Party meeting. And we can out that f****** bastard of a sell-out who’s taken over.”


Mona: “I realised I could engineer a collective epiphany.”


Dick: “I didn’t see that this showed me bloody anything.”


Jenny: “Hmmph – religious realisations are cinematic or telegenic, arent they. Can I get one too…?”


Sanjeev: “On first viewing I acted as if it dawned on me that I needed an epiphany and you, you bastards, ignored me.”


Edna: “Go play doc director somewhere else.”


I’m-homeless-can-you-spare-any-change: ” Give me a quid or sod off. I’m busy, you prat.”


Gunter: “It slowly grows on me – and I have no bloody camera to hand.”


Maria-Luisa: “Goes to show you can be smart and slow at the same time and impress people and get on TV.”


João: “Vehhhhrrrryyyyy nnnahhhhheeece.”


Fiancé:  “…………………………”


Fiancée:  “…………”


Friend:  “Cant you see they are busy? Go away!”


Henry:  “What was the diagnosis?”


Tara:  “I can see their auras. Can you?”


Josephine:  “I know Viola – he’s a friend of my uncle who is an art dealer. I’ve been to his house and he cooked me the most incredible chicken and I posed for him. He hates people like you.”


Lindsay: “Stop looking like that. I’m scared.”


Eric: “Yet another f****** example of spirituality being cheapened, diluted and commodified by media and technology.”


Rina: “Yet another f****** example of domestic abuse being cheapened, diluted and commodified by media and technology.”


Sean: “Yet another f****** example of politics being cheapened, diluted and commodified by media and technology.”


Oksana: “It’s not HD, is it. I see better advertisement on Ukrainian bride website. You have wife?”


Diego: “Was it an off-side?”


Anonymous: “Sorry, my mind slowed down so I wasnt able to focus and keep up. What was the question?”


Vesper: “They are very realistic, aren’t they? The female dummy looks like my friend Dawn.”


Caitlin: “People are just performing animals to you, aren’t they? You’re haunted. Get an exorcism……Jason!! …Jennifer!!….Get over here and leave that man’s shopping alone!!”


Vivian: “You want me to do THAT??? I’ve just consumed three cokes and a pot of espresso!”


Jonathan: “A picture of blasphemy. Divine….”


Sharon: “Where’s the selfie-stick?”


Tunde: “Why would anybody make a video of tourists shopping in Selfridge’s, clogging up the bloody aisles?”


Ezra: “How did they get the painting to move like that?”


PC Evans: “Do you want to be arrested in slow, fast or real time? Stop blocking the pavement.”


John: “Grave image. Graven on my i-phone”


Ellen: “They keep saying Terrence Malick is past his best – and now…..slow motion mime??”


Daphne Cartwright: “You don’t impress me, young man.”


Mavis Cartwright: “Daphne, you’re not wearing your glasses.”


Ibrahim: “How many of these could you produce and at what economies of scale and what retail price? I have a customer in Dubai who’d take a thousand. Do they need food or chemicals or a change of water often?”


Michelle: “This is the publicity for that book ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ – I definitely won’t buy it now.”


Jen: “Yukk – a bunch of oldies doing trance. Come down to Spiritstirvana 51 and see how it’s really done.”


Sergei: “Which event this is? I can tell they taking drugs for enhancing performance.”


Tracy:  “Is this for the next Borat? I dont care about making myself look like a stuckwit. Give me a line. Go on….”


Binksie: “I am paint. Drying. Underground. Have you seen me? Painting the exit?”


Eddie: “This is why I left home – the stuff my family get up to…..embarrassing…..”


DJ Parrot DJ:  “Copy that. It’s about Nothing. And it’s derivative – I was doing this ten years ago. Oh, made in 2000….hmmm….”


Amrita: “What part of ‘Do Not Distract the Driver’ do you not understand?”


Jean-Pierre: “Bodyform binned this as an idea for a reflexive spoof of their own ads.”


Lama Bhaisajyaguru Dendro Goedak Rinpoche: “This is an awakening signal from the cosmos to show us yet again that multitasking drives you mad. Have you noticed how people who walk and drive and speak and play the piano are crazy? That simultaneous movement of arms, legs, feet, eyes, head, neck….we weren’t made to do this. Locomotion is a sad trick played on our Being by evolution. Slow down, do one thing at a time, be in the present moment. Here. Be nows. Bees. Stills here. Buzzzz. Find out more—very slowly—on my Youtube channel….and your signal will awake too….”


Julian: “Why the funny looks – I walk around like this everyday in central London without so much as a glance from most people. Slow-witted – and no imagination. Tsk. Show me another cam feed.”


Quentin:  “You dont see what Viola did to get those reactions…..the staff at the home nearly put a stop to all of it and beat him up.”


John: “Gawd – I wrote that one…..”


Fiona:  “The latest crime phenomenon, uh? A drive-by viola recital….”


Mrs Fairweather: “Funspeakable…”





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s