Iphia Henry _Tactile Video/ Interactive Spaces
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Live To Tell (2002)
This week’s blog post will spotlight Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, a Montreal based artist who works predominantly with video and performance art. Nemerofsky Ramsay employs videos as “creative vehicles for examining the singing voice and the history of song, the rendering of love and emotion into words, and the impact of popular culture on identity.”
The piece which I will be elaborating on is “Live to Tell”, a cleverly composed music video produced by the use of surveillance cameras as he performed a “choral rendition of a 1980s Madonna ballad.”
While watching this video I was immediately impressed with the artistic direction which Nemerofsky Ramsay utilized to achieve this seamless video performance.
As the video commences, 16 screens appeared showing Nemerofsky Ramsay in various positions and locations. Each screen appears to be very independent from the other and even appear to be recording events at different moments in time. Then in one for the screen Nemerofsky Ramsay turns to the camera as if to acknowledge the there is someone actually watching him. He starts to sing to the camera as if he is serenading the viewer.
One by one, each “character” in the various screens begins to respond to the vocal melody. In one screen, he slowly sways to the tune, in another screen he leaps through the air and in one of the numerous screens he begins to join in creating a harmonies chorus. Before long in all 16 screens, he is turned towards to camera, singing in harmony to the viewer. The final result is effortless and flows rather smoothly.
After watching and listening to the rendition I was immediately impressed with Nemerofsky Ramsay’s creation. With the use of technology, which has become commonplace in our society and his interpretation of a pop song, Nemerofsky Ramsay has created a video which he is able to personalize for the viewer. Over the past years I have seen other artists create similar video. An example of analogous work is from Toronto based musician, Andrew (Songs to Wear Pants To)’s GRAVY & TOAST rendition which can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTzTSbc268c&feature=relmfu.