Whether it addresses political issues directly or not, I think all work is political. This was my initial, knee-jerk reaction to the question. But if we think of the political as the ideological organization of the public sphere, of the common, I begin to doubt my initial statement. As some would say, »my art can’t vote,« neither will it change policies. But it does have the capacity to, among other things, question givens, broaden our scope of possibilities and narratives, keep us company, and set up ethical dilemmas around issues that political action would do well to consider so as not to turn into mere management.
As some would say, »my art can’t vote,« neither will it change policies.
Being seen is always contained in the act of looking, and so subject and object are never stable or mutually exclusive in my work; sometimes viewers can no longer look at it without looking at themselves and their place within it. One of the main concerns of my practice is the position of the viewer and the decisions he or she makes in relation to the work, to the world, to others. If the work of art shifts and is no longer discernible from the rest of the world, does it gather spectators or witnesses around it?
So I wondered, what might happen if some of the structures that hold up a fiction film were transferred to our daily lives, what possibilities of empathy, understanding, or connection might open up?
Most of what I do revolves around film structures precisely because of this particular relation to spectatorship. Cinema can temporarily explode our sense of self and allow us to inhabit several bodies at once; we are both the character who is touching and the character being touched, while at the same time being the person sitting in a dark room, literally moved by the film. So I wondered, what might happen if some of the structures that hold up a fiction film were transferred to our daily lives, what possibilities of empathy, understanding, or connection might open up? And what could be the dangers of doing this? After all, the projection of stories onto others, the struggle over whose story deserves to be told, how it is structured and narrated, and from where, have always constituted a violent battleground and set up the foundations of our relationship to conflict.