Saturday, January 02, 2010

In a Year With 13 Movies

With the completion of two further videos this week, my work for 2009 is now at an end. I'm not quite sure how, but it also feels like a phase in my work is concluded. How evident any rupture will be remains to be seen. I completed thirteen short videos last year (counting both the Everywhere trilogy and the ten internet videos as each being one work), even though not all of them were shot in '09. Although I intend stepping back and re-thinking aspects of my film- and videomaking, I have no intention of deliberately slackening the pace of production in the coming year.

So, 2009 at a glance- this is what I've done:

The Hamilton Cell
And the Poor Bird Died...
Don't Even Think About It
Private Report
This Video is Still Here
On Pause
Ten Pieces of Video for Internet
Dead or Alive
The Everywhere Trilogy
The Mongolian Barbecue
Letter from Echo

The sense of completion that this list gives me stems largely from the two most recent videos. And the Poor Bird Died... has simply been hanging around on the computer for so long that it's a relief to have it finally finished. The result is certainly one of the daffiest, wooliest, most off the wall items of weirdness that I've been responsible for. Starring Ed Rendezvous Malone, it evokes private, peurile obsession with self-parodic levity. Yet it certainly isn't lacking in unsettling elements that ground it in a far more threatening reality... The discrepency between reality as directly experienced and that constructed in more general terms from information received certainly preoccupies me.

And this theme is central to The Hamilton Cell, which is inspired by a true historical character whose situation was defined by this anxiety experienced as a pathologically extreme condition. Apart from the title, all references made to this figure in this mainly found-footage video are oblique. It essays a poetic interpretation of his state of mind, schizophrenic and (de)formed by violent cultural ruptures, culminating in a delusional fixation on televised moving images as the source of supreme authority. People familiar with my films will no doubt immediately recognise how made-to-measure he is for a Le Cain subject. This grim, deliberately unpleasant work sees moving images as the gaseous host for history's contagious evil, translating it into the realm of subjective obsession beyond actual experience. Pollutant moving images as an obsessional disease. And this feels like the conclusion much of my recent output has been edging towards...

By the way, anyone lucky enough to have been at Sandra Minchin's Human Oddities Gala Extravaganza event at the Savoy, Cork, last month (in which I also joined Sandra's flaming creatures to play an inebriated, Tod Browningesque bearded lady fortune teller!) might have seen some glimpses of a censored rough cut of The Hamilton Cell hovering silently above the dance floor as The Naildrivers played their set...


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