Charles Levin

Charles Levin’s father passed away just before the devastating tsunami in Japan. In coming to terms with his personal loss, the Plettenberg Bay resident looked to the ocean for solace in creating his short video work entitled Homage. Six actors wearing safety Hazmat suits stood in a pyramidal form, bowing to the ocean that not only points to Japan but is also the mass that separated English born Levin from his father. Levin circles the video camera around the actors. Playing with the speed of the spin, he quickens the pace as the film progresses, adding layers to the film with a reverse spin and briefly adding white fields. Levin took live audio recordings of the 2011 tsunami in Japan where the water is swirling through the towns and coupled these with the sounds of hump back whales. When shown for the first time during Site_Specific, the sound was loud; in the empty gallery space the noise was cacophonous.

It is remarkable that the two pieces Levin created for Site_Specific – one a video and the other a sculpture – have such a strong visual connection: They are both spinning. For Levin, spinning is a metaphor for the chaos of the world. He believes that within the chaos, harmony will prevail.

  • Charles Levin Photographs

  • Charles Video