GOD MOVES ON THE WATER

In this intriguing and at times startling exploration of narrative, Bünger collides two very different interpretations of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The music video of Céline Dion’s ’My heart will go on’, featuring clips from the 1997 film ’Titanic’, is manipulated to fit a much earlier blues song about the same event. Blind Willie Johnson’s ’God Moves on the Water’ is performed in a very different style from Dion’s song. Bünger alters the speed of extracts, and plays them backwards of Dion singing, so that she appears to be singing the words of the 1929 song. The male voice juxtaposed against the image of a female singer has a jarring effect, which contradicts the ease with which the almost gospel style of Johnson’s song sits over Dion’s sentimental visual performance. Clips of Dion are interspersed with excerpts from the film, which feature only the reconstructed ship itself. The iceberg, collision and sinking are not seen, and the boat is sometimes seen to move backwards, to retreat from its calamitous fate. This disjunction between the words and the images underlines the disunity of this new narrative.
God Moves on the Water, Erik Bünger, 2008 © the artist & producerGod Moves on the Water, Erik Bünger, 2008 © the artist & producerGod Moves on the Water, Erik Bünger, 2008 © the artist & producer