I suppose I should preface this post. There are no great theoretical discussions, just a relaying of my raw practice, which is all you are likely to receive after several days of interviewing and editing.
I’ve mixed down an advance version of my project for marking. But, as with all of my work, it becomes apparent once I start to put the project together, how much better this could be with time. This project needs years rather than hours, this is where it is right now.
The interviews have been pretty amazing. As expected the skin has been this interesting doorway with which to view a persons life, how they see the world and how they believe the world sees them. Perception of perception. There are many common themes that have come up, medical conditions, race, personal memories, sex. I am not sure how they would be if they were sorted into subject categories and then placed side by side. I felt like that would be moving toward the didactic, so I steered away from supplying the opportunity for comparison. The interviews were left edited, but untouched in the affect. I aimed for leaving them to be interesting in their authenticity and real consideration of the topic. They interviews are very natural and human. Presented in real time.
As interviewer, I find the process of interviewing each new subject both delightful and draining. Having to draw out the subject one by one. Interviewing on a topic such as skin can be arduous as no one considers the world through their as a matter of course. So it takes some prodding to reach beneath the skin (pun intended) of the questions and speak through our own bodily experience.
The format is video split-screen. Ideally I think eventually I can see a series of handmade silk screens coming from the ground, encouraging the audience to sit down and experience them as a conversation, or to just walk from screen to screen, receiving impressions from each. The projector screen is split in three, the one large is a mid-length to full length shot of the interviewee speaking direct to camera. The subject was placed in the centre of the frame and cropped in post. In the small third I have placed a profile shot of the subject that is not in sync. The profile shot offers the viewer the chance to examine the subject of the interview unobserved. It also appears that the close-up profile shot is listening to the main interview and responding.
In the third split sect there is a range of loosely related textural images interspersed. I played with this frame seeing what impact it had on the frame as a whole. I found it interesting, and at times distracting which was not unpleasant. I found that the interest it provided pleased me visually and the interplay between the three frames was interesting to watch. It’s interesting to watch the ‘skins’ of other things living and inanimate. Juxtaposing the verbal expression of race or freckles with water or tree bark acts to ground and speaks to a larger truth and shared experience.
The larger truth of this work is that it is a work in practice. It needs the time to breathe and be massaged to allow it to express itself completely.
Completely aware of this 2am rant. I will attempt to dissect the piece with increased clarity in a future post.