What I Wish I could Say, 2009 and You Went Back Again and Again, 2009 were made as a direct response to losing my father. Being unable to grieve or thinking that I was not grieving and having the event of his passing becoming unspeakable, making this work has been a way of attesting to a witnessing, a way of grieving, a way of stating and making real that this did happen, ‘this-has-been’. A testimonial is written after the fact. So how will this testimony without any photographs be framed, be written and in the language of the image? My work being intensely personal still finds itself engaging within the more public domains of dialogue currently happening within the world around end of life choices. Words, spoken or written is an integral part of the work. It is complicated by the understanding that language is something that only approximates.
You Went Back Again and Again. 2009.
The video You Went Back Again and Again, 2009 addresses the space of mourning and does this by looking at the registers of memory. The camera traverses with me to spaces that repeatedly explode with images I want to erase. A video installation the work is an assemblage of images, text, sounds. Set within the overall narrative of a car journey to my father’s grave and back, the work seeks to document the two years after the event. Believing strongly in a certain image of grieving this work sets out for me and the viewer an alternative. Conversations traverse from the incredulous to deep feelings of guilt, images from journeys explore the space of being nowhere and the self writes itself in words that cannot be strung together. Bodies don’t exist in these spaces whole, neither of those who have passed nor of those who live to tell, to mourn. It testifies to what is left, the images, the knowing, the ifs and the buts.
What I Wish I Could Say. 2009.
What I Wish I Could Say, 2009 is a video installation. Made to be seen in a completely dark space with the only light being that of the projector, it approximates the solitude of reading, the solitude of reflexivity “..in cinema, something has passed..” says Roland Barthes. The viewer is invited to watch as words appear and disappear from the wall, each sentence, each utterance undone by the next. Using Jean Hippolyte’s understanding of Freud’s term ‘Verneinung’ as ‘the mode of presenting what one is in the mode of not being it.’ the film’s text points to what is not being said. The work alternates between telling the viewer what I wished could have been different and what I wish I could have the courage to tell. It leaves open questions concerning the facts of the event, which are difficult to write let alone speak and yet in that space of not telling, the telling gets done. I have said what I want to say but I will never know what you heard, what you saw.