A slide film demonstrated in I. Makarevich’s studio was based on photographic and artistic material of performances "Russian World" and "Jupiter" with additions of visual and acoustic sequences crafted exclusively for "THE BARREL " as a separate action.
The visual sequences of "The Barrel" were projected on three screens. The middle screen was represented by a glass-sided white sheet of paper in dark blue passé-par-tout (sheet size - 70x40 cm, passé-par-tout width - 10 cm). Upon this screen, within the passé-par-tout inner boundaries a beam from the middle filmstrip projector plugged via time relay was projected. The frequency of projected flashes varied from minimal (in the film’s beginning) to maximum (in the final part). Under the glass-sided screen, at the level of passé-par-tout’s lower part the "Soft handle" was centered horizontally and connected to electric motor (9 rounds per minute) standing on the screen’s right. It was revolving continuously in the course of the whole action, reeling on itself a white thread from a spool behind the screen (invisible to the audience) (for description of the "Soft handle" see the "Russian World" performance).
Left and right screens were placed on a white wall and were of similar size three times larger than the middle stroboscopic screen. Under the right screen on a purple cloth there was a tape recorder previously used in the "Russian World" performance.
The slide film was shown according to the following scheme:
1. The visual sequence of the first 10 minutes of the film was limited to the empty glass-sided middle screen blinking at a slow rate. Under it there was the "Soft handle", revolving and reeling up the thread. Soundtrack for this phase of the demonstration contained the final part (30 minutes long) of the "Jupiter" action soundtrack titled "The Trains; The Barrel" ("The Trains" part); it was played back through a large stereo with two speakers standing behind the audience’s backs by the opposite wall.
2. At the 11th minute of the performanceright and left screens were switched on with similar black-and-white slides picturing "Emblem I": shield with man looking at watch (it was used as "object-frame" during the "Jupiter" action). The slides remained on the screens for 3 minutes. The blinking of the empty stroboscopic screen slightly speeded up with their appearance. Soundtrack for "The Trains; The Barrel" ("The Barrel" part) kept playing.
3. At the 14th minute on right and left screens "Emblem II" (one-eyed man). "The Barrel" soundtrack.
4. At the 17th minute on right and left screens "Emblem III" (man with gaping black mouth). "The Barrel" soundtrack.
5. At the 20th minute on right and left screens "Emblem IV" (grinning man). "The Barrel" soundtrack.
6. At the 23th minute on right and left screens "Emblem V" (man putting out his tongue). "The Barrel" soundtrack.
7. At the 26rd minute on right and left screens "Emblem VI" (man stopping his ears). "The Barrel" soundtrack.
8. At the 29th minute on the right screen appeared a black-and-white slide titled "SHAFT-1" (half-length portrait of Monastyrski with a metallic rod on his shoulder).
The left screen is switched off.
"SHAFT –1" slide remains on the screen for 1 minute. "The Barrel" soundtrack.
9. One minute later the right screen swapped "SHAFT–1" for "SHAFT-2" slide (Monastyrski with metallic rod, his back facing the audience). The slide remains on the screen for 1 minute. "The Barrel" soundtrack.
10. One minute later the right screen swapped "SHAFT–2" for "SHAFT-3" slide (Monastyrski declining over the rod which is rolling on asphalt). The slide remains on the screen for 1 minute. "The Barrel" soundtrack.
11. When "SHAFT-4" slide (Monastyrski’s foot trampling the rod) appears on the right screen, "The Barrel" soundtrack is stopped.
30 seconds later "The Repetitions" soundtrack is switched on, the right screen is switched off, and the left screen demonstrates a slide-show of 110 black-and-white slides, each remains for 30 seconds.
"The Repetitions" soundtrack contains the following phrase recorded 110 times by Monastyrski:
"THE MEANING OF THIS PHRASE, WHICH IS REPEATED 110 TIMES FOR 30 SECONDS, SHALL PROBABLY BE REVEALED IN THE END OF THIS SEQUENCE BY A NOTICEABLE OR UNNOTICEABLE CHANGE OF INTONATION OR ANY OTHER SURPRISING MOTION WHICH IS THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF PHYSICAL RELEVANCE OF EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE DEFINED AS RESIDUAL EFFECTS OF AN EMPTY ACTION IN ITS DIRECT SENSE OF NAKED METAPHOR REDUCING THE LYRICAL, COMIC OR TRAGIC SOUNDING OF THE SPEECH ACCOMPANIMENT TO THE VERGE OF ESTHETICAL INTOLERABLENESS WHEN A SPECTATOR IS FORCED TO MECHANICALLY SWITCH FROM ONE IMAGE TO ANOTHER".
This phrase is repeated with slight modifications (for example, "irrelevance" instead of "relevance", sometimes attributives are changed: "epical" instead of "lyrical" etc; sometimes words are added or omitted, for example: "surprising motion of perception”. Although, the phrase never develops to the point of grammatical or semantic absurd). The entire phrase is only read aloud once. Depending on modifications and speed of reading the phrase is interrupted at different points, mostly at words "of esthetical intolerableness", according to the 30 seconds time interval which is always strictly observed. Several times the number "110" is changed to lesser or bigger (but no less than 100).
Besides that, TV noise (speech or music, depending on what had been caught by the recorder) was superimposed over words "EMPTY ACTION".
When demonstration of the 110 slides began and soundtrack "REPERITIONS" set to playing back, the blinking of stroboscopic screen slightly accelerated.
(as shown on the left screen; right screen was switched off).
1. River, two trellised drain pipes.
2. River, duck.
3. Bridge, train.
4. Boy, wooden bridge.
5. Brick-built bridge pillar (a wall).
6. Bridge, river.
8. Bridge, train.
9. River, trees.
10. Railways, two trains.
11. Railways, two trains (close-up).
12. Railways, A. M. on the left.
13. Railways, A. M. in a well.
14. Railways, train.
15. Inner bridge, A. M.
16. Steel stairway, A. M. on the top.
17. Reinforced carcass pillar
18. Man with dog, river.
19. Bridge, man passing by, A. M.
20. Man with dog on bridge.
21. Tree reflecting in water.
22. River, bridge (at a distance).
23. Grass, piece of metal, water.
24. Road, A. M.’s back.
25. Piles of earth, trees.
27. River, trees reflecting in water.
29. River, trees.
30. Road, distant bridge, train.
31. Road, distant bridge, train.
32. Road, distant bridge, train.
34. Brook, ducks.
36. Treetop, sky.
37. Treetop, sky.
38. Fence, sky.
39. Treetop, sky.
40. Trees, sky.
41. Tape recorder on tree.
42. Collie on road, passers-by.
43. A. M. on tree over road, sportsman.
44. A. M. jumping from tree.
45. Power line pole.
46. Power line pole’s top, sky.
47. Power line pole, sky.
48. Power line pole, trees, bushes.
49. Power line pole with plate "C-C-1-20".
50. Tree branches braiding steel armature pole.
51. Earth, grass, sand.
52. Trees, sky, wires.
53. Tree branches braiding steel armature pole.
54. A. M. in a pit.
55. A. M. by a pond.
56. Sky, power lines.
57. Road, trees, bushes, power line pole.
58. A. M. on a stump.
60. Two trees at night.
61. Kizewalter on a bench.
62. Tape recorder on extinct bonfire.
63. A. M. on a stump.
64. Broken lemonade bottle.
65. A. M. (close-up).
67. Birch body (close-up).
68. A. M. sitting on road.
70. A. M. on road (back view).
71. Remnants of a bench.
72. Edge of asphalt, grass.
74. Kizewalter on a bench.
75. A. M. in bushes.
76. A. M. on badminton playground carrying metal rod.
77. A. M. on playground, assembling rods.
78. A. M. on playground, connecting stick and rods.
79. Bushes, scrap heap.
80. A. M. on a log.
81. A. M.’s feet, skittle.
83. A. M. on a basketball pole.
84. Snow (close-up).
85. A. M. on a basketball playground ("dance", tape recorder)
86. Basketball ring (down-top view).
88. Tree roots.
89. Tree roots.
90. White stone.
91. Shuttlecock on grass. – On the stroboscopic screen the slide titled "Color-1" is projected (sky photographed with extra-short exposure, so that the film remained virtually transparent).
92. Three trees. "Color-1" on the stroboscopic screen is replaced for "Color-2" slide (the film has bluish tincture).
93. Two trees inosculated at bottom. "Color-2" on the stroboscopic screen is replaced for "Color-3" slide (saturated bluish film).
94. Burned sledge. "Color-3" is replaced for "Color-4" (transition of sky-bluish into blue color).
95. A. M. in deep forest. "Color-4" is replaced for "Color-5" (intensive blue color).
96. A. M. entering garden house. "Color-5" on the stroboscopic screen (the blinking rate is increased) is replaced for "Color-6" (deeper blue color). The slide "Color-6" remains on the stroboscopic screen until the slide titled "FINANCIAL INSTITUTE" appears.
97. A. M. sitting on a bench in garden house.
98. Black bag on a bench.
99. Corner of garden house. Inside view: on the ground there is a plastic barrel used to hold a child’s Christmas gift (it's blue as well as the garden house).
SIMULTANEUOSLY WITH THE 99TH SLIDE APPEARANCE THE RIGHT SCREEN IS SWITCHED ON.
There was the same snapshot on it (garden house’s corner), but made in the daytime and in color. Instead of the plastic barrel there is the "Soft handle" on the ground, its red disk facing outwards. The slide remains on the screen for 30 seconds, and then the right screen is switched off.
100. Empty garden house’s corner, inside view.
101. Garden house’s roof.
102. Garden house’s fence and floor (inside view).
103. A. M. inside the garden house (close-up).
104. A. M. inside the garden house, standing.
105. A. M. inside the garden house (outside view).
106. A. M. inside the garden house (back view).
107. Part of empty garden house (inside view).
108. Wide alley perspective at night.
SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE 108TH SLIDE APPEARANCE THE RIGHT SCREEN IS SWITCHED ON.
There is an "advertising" slide of the "Russian World" performance on it: in the center there is a tape recorder on a purple cloth spread on snow, snowy field in a distance and A. M.’s silhouette.
When this colored slide appears on the right screen, a tape recorder standing under it on a purple cloth is switched on. It is the same tape recorder as on the "Russian World" slide. Its soundtrack consists of noises and clinging of several cash registers (recorded in a large supermarket).
Soundtrack "REPETITIONS" continues.
109. Branches of trees at night (shot at night with a flash, like all other slides of black-and-white series). On the right screen the slide from "The Russian World" remains.
110. A. M. by a tree with a sign "TUBERCULOSIS INSTITUTE". On the right screen the slide from "The Russian World" remains.
Then the "Tuberculosis Institute" slide on the left screen is replaced by a colore slide picturing an announcement board with letters "FINANCIAL INSTITUTE".
At the same time a similar slide appears on the right screen.
On the stroboscopic screen the slide "Color-6" is also replaced by depiction of the announcement board of Financial Institute.
Blinking of the screen reaches maximum rate.
The slide projected on the blinking screen is different from those on lateral screens, as it is bordered with background image (tree branches, one of which obstructs part of the board), while lateral slides do not have any background.
Simultaneously with the appearance of the three boards of Financial Institute, "The Supermarket" soundtrack played back through the tape recorder under the right screen was overlapped by the same recording at very high volume, then replaced by "REPETITIONS" soundtrack (it could be heard from two speakers of a stereo tape recorder behind the audience’s backs).
"The Supermarket" soundtrack (lasting 3 minutes) ended with a 3-second-long electronic chord. When the soundtrack came to an end, the stroboscopic screen stopped to produce a still-frame image and then all three screens were switched off. The motor revolving the "Soft handle" also stopped.
31st of May, 1985
A. Monastyrski, G. Kizewalter, S. Romashko, I. Makarevich, E. Elagina
I. Kabakov, J. Backstein, I. Nakhova, D. Prigov, Vs. Nekrasov. Yu. Leiderman, I. Chuikov, N. Kozlov, E. Romanova, A. Zhigalov, V. Mochalova, N. Drozdetskaya, L. Rubinstein, A. Filippov, A. Abramov, G.Witte, S.Haensgen, M. Eremina