Too Much Reality (2003)
(Script and some stills from the installation)

Click on the 'info' button at the bottom of the page for installation shots.

(Voice-over)

A while ago, a friend of mine returned from a trip to South East Asia.

He'd been travelling for six months through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.
He wanted to end his trip with a few weeks relaxing on a beach.
He headed for a small island, just off the coast of Cambodia. 

When he got there, the only available place to stay was a wooden hut, built against the side of a mountain and overlooking the sea.

Hut number 13.

From the outside it looked idyllic. The perfect place to rest for a few weeks before going home.


(Voice-over continues, camera pans around inside hut no. 13)

The inside was a different story. It was dirty and had been decorated with cowboy paraphernalia. 

A pair of Levi's were nailed to the wall, along with a number of old and fading pictures. The curtains were replaced by stained flags and several strange objects surrounded the bed. 

There was an old stereo on top of a cupboard. The only thing he found in the cupboard was a collection of pornographic pictures. Some of the pictures seemed to be of children.

The hut made him feel uneasy. He told me that the photo's, the objects and the stereo gave him a strange feeling, although he couldn't say why.


(Voice-over)

He said he put the things he didn't like outside the hut and that every time he came back or woke up, they had moved.

Without any sign of a break-in, a large amount of money had disappeared, so he decided to buy a new pad-lock for the door.

On the second night he invited a Norwegian girl back to his hut. He woke up with what looked like a venereal disease. 
He went to see the local doctor, who told him that symptoms shouldn't appear within such a short time. 
On the way back he tripped over a rock and sprained his ankle. 
Back in the hut more money had disappeared.

He told me that at this point he was starting to think that either the hut, or something inside it, was causing this spell of bad luck.

That night he unplugged the old stereo, took down all the flags and turned the pictures to face the wall.


(Voice-over)

The next day he went for a swim and got carried away by the current. He told me he nearly drowned. In the evening he developed a rash on his face, had a tight chest and problems breathing. 

He panicked when he saw an ashtray moving.
Another ashtray, he said, kept staring at him.

He went in search of the Norwegian girl and told her he was afraid he was having a heart attack. According to him hut 13 was cursed and the cause of all his bad luck.

She told him that he was imagining things, but he refused to go back to his hut and spent the night in her room.

The next day he sent her to collect his luggage from the hut. 
He refused to go back up there and decided to leave the island immediately.