Rates of Exchange (Taux de change), 1975
U-matic, NTSC, son, n/b
Allan Kaprow makes a summarised inventory of the representations of human activity that balance out private space and sites of exchange. Two characters, a man and a woman, participate in this methodical action. Initially isolated, partitioned off in a place of their own, they each record a series of questions related to the other party on a tape recorder, in a series of definitions and identifications.
The questions are placed opposite a mirror that presents the absent party and implies direct and immediate feedback on this indirect and bipartisan conversation. After having swapped tapes, they observe the potential response in this same mirror, the visible feedback that portrays the other within a paradoxical time, a constantly deferred present.
This process of representation of the relationship and the language of love is expressed through a device of segmentation, mediation, and non-coincidence; a structure that is progressively complexified, each time invoking new elements of deference, new detours.
The rituals of communication are shown here as transfers in perpetual de-synchronisation, relayed by the medium each time.
Allan Kaprow makes the theoretical demonstration of the very specificity of all representation, based on a logic of boundaries between inscription and perception, speaker and listener, and more fundamentally, between men and women.