Trying to Remember, Sometimes Wishing I Could Forget - 1996/2016
Single-channel split screen video, silent
Edition of 3
First in a series of individual works to eventually be included in a larger body of work entitled 20 Years Later...
A few months ago Dazibao in Montreal contacted me about including my video piece, 33 Minute Stare (1996), in a group show. (This was the first video I ever made and it was a conceptual endurance piece of me simply staring into the camera for as long as I could.) I had the old piece transferred from Betacam to a digital file and was looking it over on my computer before sending it to them, and realized I hadn’t watched or even thought about this video in years.
I can remember so many little details about making this work: it was late at night and snowing outside, the heat was off in the studio and I was cold, I sat on a wooden stool, it was painted dark green and the paint was flaking off, one of the fluorescent lights was buzzing, and my left foot fell asleep about halfway through, etc… But I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I got the video camera to shoot this piece. I’m pretty certain I didn’t own one back then, so I must have borrowed it from someone or maybe I rented it, but I don’t think so. I just have no memory of it. I thought it was both funny and interesting — this very specific hole in my memory — so I decided to make this the starting point of a response work.
In this new split-screen video the original video is placed next to a new video of me where I start off trying to remember where I got that camera from and then for 33 minutes, i try to remember everything else I may have forgotten since then. I had imagined this process would be just another simple conceptual exercise to pair with the original, but as my mind wandered chronologically forward, through random memories, I was a little surprised by the amount of regret I experienced in response to some of the things I did remember.
2016 Diaz Contemporary (Toronto ON); 2016 Dazibao (Montreal PQ);