nicole rademacher

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gesture and Contrived Realities

Much of the last week has been spent remastering and re-exporting videos for the web. As mentioned in yesterday's entry, I finally uploaded videos to my vimeo profile. And of course I am using them (well, the ones that have better quality) for my site - ah free bandwidth.

This has given me an extraordinary chance to truly look at the videos I have made over the years (even the in-camera edited one from 2002 - or maybe it was 2001). I found that even though I find text and language fascinating, I rarely use it in my work - or the dialogue that is present, I have not employed for its meaning, but rather for its noise or symbolism.

In When I grow up ... in particular, the words hold no meaning on their own, they tell no story. They story is in the gesture, in the symbolism, in the nonsense.

Similarily in día, the words only give the viewer reference to time of day and place in the world. The story is told through the order of the shots, the repetition of the actions, the gesture and acting.

This continues through every video, up to my most current work - where my MFA thesis (of 2008, which I think I may still be battling with) specifically and opening looks at gesture and its ability to tell a story - to construct a story, in fact.

I started constructing my stories through gesture, and now I document the gestures and allow them to construct their own stories. The gestures lead me to tell you what I see.

Walk with me, for instance, was nothing more than boredom on my friend's balcony in Barcelona. I saw that the women were walking in sync. I tried three times to get the right shot. I used their motions to guide me through the editing, to direct me (rather than me being the director), to reveal their story to me and thus to the viewer.

I am putting together (aka writing) a proposal for a residency, here in Chile. I have been looking at my work and the work of others (in particular Eija-Liisa Ahtila [just google her]), trying to make sense of things - ya know, in a cohesive and somewhat logical fashion. I always knew that something was missing from that series of 62 videos, but the question was: what? My thesis committee (and other faculty members) pushed me to figure that out. Unfortunately, things come when the come for me - be it slow or immediately. The missing part for this came about a year too late. I think I am a late bloomer when it comes to things of the mind, but that is besides the point. So, they pushed and pushed, and what came out? Writing: semi-poetic writing about the videos, attempts to explain in English what I saw and felt, an attempt to give the viewer more direction on how to see my work.

An aside would be how I feel about "telling" people how to see my work, but we can save that topic for another post - preferable one that isn't at almost 2am.

All in all, I think that what I wrote during those months (see thesis books) is very valid. In fact, that is where I am at with this body of work. I am interested in sucking the narrative out of the videos and finding the words. After the words have been extracted, I will need to refine them, to let them show me how their story plays out.

Well, I guess I should try to get some sleep. Any thoughts, as always, are welcome.

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