Covers (Video Archive)
These videos are part of an ongoing project where I lipsynch found audio. All of the audio, mostly interviews from radio and tv, was recorded in the 1950s, 60s and 70s — a time that, for me, falls into the category of being historic in that I was too young to remember any of these media events first hand. So when I shoot the videos, there’s a feeling that I’m bringing together temporal spaces: the historical moment of the audio recording and the moment inhabited by myself and the viewer in the present. The exchange between these moments exists as a composite of past and present, a kind of third space where meanings shift, judgements waver, visual cues are displaced, and the language hovers, unattached to the identity of the original speaker, and yet not quite able to attach to my identity, my image, my mouth, my gestures.
Single channel HD video, 2012, 20:13
In 1973 Marlon Brando was awarded an Oscar for The Godfather, which he refused. In his place he sent Sacheen Littlefeather to read a statement protesting the portrayal of Native Americans by Hollywood. The audio used in The Reveal (2012) comes from an interview Brando gave soon after on the Dick Cavett Show during which he refuses to discuss anything to do with movies or acting. Dick Cavett, initially star-struck by his guest, becomes increasingly trenchant as Brando pulls back the veil of the talk show format. Finally Cavett asks, “Why do you downgrade acting?” In the interplay that unfolds, Brando gives in to his question, describing acting as a “survival mechanism” and claiming that people act all the time, exactly the same as he acts on screen. He concludes his speech by calling out the role Cavett is playing right there, right then. By refusing to play the part of “a famous actor” Brando insists on a kind of authentic interchange, exposing the gulf between Cavett’s private and public persona.
The most extreme perfect that exists
Single channel video, 2011 , 3;04
In Most Extreme Perfect That Exists (2011), famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman recounts the event that inspired him to write his 1966 movie Persona. Admitted to the hospital for an operation, he is given an anesthetic for the first time, and as it takes effect he begins to lose his sense of himself, essentially describing a near-death experience. He describes his tremendous satisfaction at being relieved of the burden of being Ingmar Bergman...a blissful feeling of “nonexistance, a not existing.”
Who I Am
Single channel video, 2008, 4;00
Who I Am (2008), uses audio excerpted from an interview with then-psychologist and Harvard professor Richard Alpert as he discusses the transient nature of identity and how our attachment to the learned behaviors associated with our culturally identified personas, though not who we really are, effect how we interact with nature and each other.
Never Had More Troubles
Two channel video, 2007, 2;00
In 1967 on the Merv Griffin Show, presidential candidate to-be, Richard Nixon, is asked how he’ll overcome the problem of the perception by politicians, the media and others, that he is a “loser.” Never Had More Troubles (2007) came out of my interest in how drastically the meaning has shifted from Merv Griffin calling Nixon a loser, referring to his prior failed attempts in presidential and gubernatorial races, to the meaning implied by calling Nixon a “loser” today.
All the People Dreaming
Single channel video, 2006, 3;34
All the People Dreaming (2006), begins with Jack Kerouac, on the Steve Allen Show in 1959, explaining why he writes. “All the stories I wrote were true, because I believed in what I saw...” It’s a kind direct meditation on the “why” of the creative process— the desire to do something with a life, to capture something of the experiences and relationships within it, to be inspired by the immensity of it all.