excerpt from Love Greens (2018)
This work features a series of autobiographical actions, intimate moments between my partner and I. Over the course of the nearly 7 minute video, my partner manipulates my face, scratches my skin raw, exposes scars on my breasts, and embraces me in turn. These "shells" are primary source materials, unwarped by the process of recollection.
In places, I have hollowed out these shells and filled the negative space with largely abstract found footage. With each, I sought to illuminate the interior context of the events in the presenting shell. That is: when my partner witnesses my scarred, naked body, I am out of it, floating in a pool of hazy, inscrutable reflections. When he’s manipulating the skin on my face—pushing me outside my comfort zone, testing my tact—I’m hardly knocked off balance. There’s just a glimpse beneath my brow, a thin ring of distress around my iris.
The tension between interiority and the historical record is one plucked from the science of memory. In the words of one noted scholar: “usually coherence is more important than correspondence.” Read: our ability to relate the gist of the truth in a coherent manner is generally of greater import than our tale’s correspondence to objective fact. Correspondence, in fact, is an unhelpful and largely unreachable standard that is only relevant in scholarly settings and professions with similar epistemological rigidity.
Interiority has become the opposing pole for the correspondence standard of the historical record; a place where verisimilitude thrives. It’s a crucible for the mercurial attitudes studies show corrupt our memory. There is a body of theory here along the lines of Freudian psychoanalysis, but my work intentionally sidesteps that and instead engages with interiority in a visceral, personal way.
Love Greens in particular explores the personal anxieties and uncertainties involved in the process of falling in love after psychological trauma. The work contends: love is beautiful and nauseating, intoxicating and grating. By layering the videos, I show both the filmed gestures of intimacy between my partner and I and the trauma-induced, pixely dissonance that enshrouds them. The “greens” in the piece act as colors primed to be keyed out, replaced with subjective perception. Then again, the “greens” are the hopeful sprouts of new love growing.