The Polittante (part 1)

2011

HD film | 4’04 | no sound

For a long time I wanted to include the photograph
my mother took of a sunset in a piece of work.

The reason was in part, that she had taken the
photograph at about the same age as I discovered the
image.

The tilted photograph started to make me think a lot about my own artistic practice,

and the attempts to translate that practice of making work in relation to an original experience.

I had a pervading feeling that there always be this gap and subsequent loss

between what I wanted to openly show and the inclination I have to try and make work from it.

//

The photograph seemed to demonstrate two ways of
looking: firstly the original sublime sunset,

and secondly, my mother’s subsequent inability to
capture the sunset in its raw compositional,
constituent elements.

What the photograph managed to do was to expose
the profound space of a melancholic loss,

the loss that derives from deeply wanting to show
part of an aesthetic experience and the resulting
helplessness that ensues.

Several years before, I’d a taken a crooked
photographic image of my studio wall.

As I remember it, I had hastily wedged a floor tile in
the small gap between the studio’s wall and the
ceiling.

I wanted to take a picture of the resulting
installation.

As I took the picture, the tile lost its grip with the
two surfaces and fell to the floor.

The image only caught the barest trace of the tile
falling to the ground.

The urgency that the situation demanded resulted in
the compromised low-resolution photograph.

Looking closely now, all that is left is a kind of
shadowed after-image.

//

I used this image in a later work as a prop for a
performance.

In the performance I spoke candidly about the
difficulty in describing such an ambiguous image.

Inevitably the image itself encouraged none of the
supposed ambiguities that I had imagined.

The dialogue I hoped would ensue from the activity
never really happened.

It took me a further two years before I realized that
the slanted angle of the horizon of the beach in my
mother’s photograph

and the image of my studio wall, aligned themselves
in a moment of perfect synchronicity.