Nature Of The Self, 2014
Nature of the Self (2014), shifts between light and darkness. Light plays against moving trees within a forest; a passage is made with a headlamp through subterranean tunnels; water flows through a stream and liquids transform from translucent to dark and back again; and there is an attempt to capture the real within the four corners of a photographic slide, to literally project the real. The accompanying voiceover describes an experience of self-realization in front of a mirror in which the self is not identified. This moment ushers metaphysical and existential uncertainty, questioning both the parameters of the self and the world. Here, the eye is both a physical and metaphorical construct, and the blind spot introduced in the opening passages denotes this paradox; it is “that which you do not see and you do not know that you do not see.” The very act of recording is acknowledged as an attempt to render experience into information yet our experience is shaped by the conditions that surround us. There exists no absolute truth as we always experience through tools, the eye indeed is a tool. As the voiceover states “I am my world. The border of my language is the border of my world.” The mirror manifests in multiple forms; twin girls separated by glass; the episode of depersonalization in front of a mirror; a chemical formulation in a laboratory; the psychoanalyst’s couch. The film itself is viewed through a window within the gallery space. Sound and image are disconnected where the space of the projection is not the space for viewing. While a certain duplicity exists, of what we see and don’t see, what is obscured by the image and the nuances of perception prevail. As the voiceover states “Everything we see could be something else. Everything we can describe could be something else.” Here the blind spot operates both metaphorically and physically. Within the projection space there is a mirror, and yet one’s reflection is obscured. The canon of modernity, in which knowledge can be captured and enclosed, is problematized with the disjuncture between presence and the reflected image. The link between belief and perception untangles...“We do not belong to the world, rather our gaze draws a limit to it.”
Director of Exhibitions & Publications of MERCER UNION, a centre for contemporary art, Toronto. Introduction text for the exhibition Everything is accidental presented in collaboration with TIFF as part of the Future Projections programme in Sept-Oct 2014.
Voice over : Grace Atkinson
Film editing : Christophe Acker
Focus pullers: Thomas Merret, Guido Tortorella
Boom operator : Camille Michel
Continuity supervisors : Anaëlle Vanel, Magalie Meunier
Post : Steven le Guellec, Thomas Merret
Music : Claude-Samuel Levine / Laurent Montaron, EMS Synthi AKS, Ondea, Mellotron.
Stascha Bock-Pathammavong, Noa Bock-Pathammavong, Adriano Morabito, Hans Julian Rustenbeck, Thomas Merret, Enrico Salvatore and Jordane Saunal.
with the support of
Roma Sotteranea, Roma
The Sigmund Freud Museum, Wien
Académie de France à Rome - Villa Médicis, Roma