Made specially for Dublin Contemporary 2011, where it was shown at the National Gallery of Ireland, Hello, Sam is a multi-media installation artwork by Brian O’Doherty that attempts to engage with the myth of Beckett’s persona, as well as the mystery of his work, by staging a situation which calls on the viewer’s imaginative participation and “willing suspension of disbelief.” On this occasion Brian O’Doherty has reimagined Hello, Sam in a work entitled Hello, Sam Redux, 2016 for the Emerson/Paramount Mainstage to accompany Here All Night.
Circling around themes of death, resurrection, mourning and celebration, the complex mixed-media work, Hello, Sam Redux, 2016, has as its main visual focus a suspended effigy, framed by a skeletal rectangular space made of rope. Three listening stations - with voices speaking to Beckett as if he is still alive and on the other end of the phone - face the effigy including texts created and spoken by Eoin O’Brien, Beckett’s doctor, Michael Colgan, of Dublin’s famous Gate Theatre and long-time Beckett friend, and for the first time the voice of Jack MacGowran, the consummate Beckett actor, reciting Beckett’s Texts for Nothing #8, contributed by Beckett to O'Doherty's seminal artwork Aspen 5+6 in 1967.
Hello, Sam Redux, 2016 also includes a solo performance conceived by Brian O’Doherty and Fergus Byrne called Shade, featuring a single figure concealed in a habit circumnavigating the space of the installation bearing witness to the effigy suspended in the space. Shade will occur once during each installation period.