new-york-and-paris

Douglas Davis

Whitney Museum Of American Art and Centre Pompidou

Double Entendre is the most recent and the most dramatically ambitious of the highly personal performance pieces that Douglas Davis has been developing since the mid ’70s. Broadcast live from the Whitney in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris on May 16, 1981, it uses elements of theater, television, and video to investigate the nature of love. A contemporary man (played by Davis himself) and a woman (Nadia Taleb) are the main protagonists. They tell their story in a dialogue that unfolds in a sequential but repetitive narrative structure; when Davis, for example, speaks in English and a few times in French in New York, Taleb repeats in French or English in Paris (or vice versa, when Taleb takes the initiative). Whatever the language, the words are printed on the video screen, allowing the audience to see and hear the speech simultaneously, and doubling the impact of the messages.

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1981 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.