Iceberg is an excerpt of a little bit of nothing – a collection of eight videos that grew out of a small but significant translation I stumbled across in Buster Keaton’s autobiography. “A little bit of nothing,” comes from the Spanish term pamplinas. It is a word that does not easily translate into English. Keaton and a friend were attending the bullfights one afternoon, when the crowd realizing the silent film star was in their presence swarmed and began yelling at him. Keaton believed they were ridiculing him, taunting his American presence. Sensing Keaton was worried, his friend, a native of Spain, set the actor at ease. He told him not to worry, that they were in fact praising him and that their cheers were honorary. Inquiring as to what they were saying, Keaton’s friend replied they were calling him “a little bit of nothing”, which in Spanish is equivalent to the “hole in a doughnut” or a “blank sheet of paper”. This video work grew out of that small but significant translation.
David Poolman – Toronto Canada