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New Video, New Europe

A Survey of Eastern European Video
January 11 – February 22, 2004

 
Mircea Cantor
(Romania)
Double-Head Matches, 2002
17'
 
A double-headed matchstick. Is that a hard thing to ask for? Apparently, it is. Cantor, however, found a Romanian match factory up for the challenge. He was even more enthused when he learned the phosphorus dipping would have to be done by hand. Theoretically more efficient, such a product would take exponentially longer to make. Putting such a paradox into effect is the only way to counter the downsizing that has accompanied Eastern Europe's transition out of communism toward a market economy. Cantor filmed the process in an astutely sober fashion, exposing how something as simple as a match is made, from raw natural resources to finished product. The scale of the process is absurd in relation to the scale of the finished product. The drone and clatter of machinery is so constant it is not until the end that it becomes noticeable in contrast to the near silence of the hand dipping process.
 

   
   
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