The last tape (2010) – Haroon Mirza

Haroon Mirza

In The Last Tape Haroon Mirza reinterprets Samuel Beckett’s one-act play Krapp’s Last Tape (1958). In Beckett’s play, the protagonist, Krapp, looks back at the events of his life, as recorded onto tape each birthday. The film of this staging of the Beckett drama features the actor and musician Richard “Kid” Strange enacting previously unpublished lyrics by Ian Curtis onto magnetic tape.

Haroon Mirza draws a parallel between Krapp (who “has nothing to talk to but his dying self”) and the frontman of the post-punk band Joy Division. Strange connects the lyrics and the sounds created by the accompanying sculptural elements. A stroboscope blinks intermittently, an allusion to Curtis’s epilepsy. Haroon Mirza treats furniture, electronics and sounds as musical material and makes no distinction between audio and visual composition: in the process of arrangement, each material bears aesthetic significance.


Sound sequence: Backfade_5 (Dancing Queen), 2011, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery, London.

Abb.: © ZKM | Karlsruhe, Foto: Steffen Harms