Gray Nicol

Duck Calling (1978)

3 min 44 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Black & White / Sound

An absurdist performance piece for shotgun, duck and bandage that continues the artists interest in signs and signals of representation.

Gray Nicol sits beside a a glass case laid horizontally across two stools. His head and face are completely covered in a bandage. Inside the case is a shotgun. He delivers a monologue that begins "How to call the ducks", in which he describes and performs various calls used by duck hunters to "call and decoy" their prey. The monologue is accompanied by the increasing background sound of ducks. As he speaks, he unwinds the bandage off his head and wraps it around his hand which holds the microphone he is speaking into. The sound of the ducks rises in volume, obscuring Nicol's monologue. The camera concentrates on Nicol firmly wrapping the bandage around his hand. The tape ends with the image turning to black, we hear the sound of breaking glass. The lights come up, the glass is broken, Nicol and the gun are gone. Offscreen, we hear a duck quack.

Other works by Gray Nicol

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