My Scarlet Genitive Imagine finding a packet of letters all from the same sender to the same addressee – a snapshot of one side of a dialogue. My Scarlet Genitive is just like that. In dialogue with Michael Angelo Tata’s Giving, Going, Gone: Variations on Derrida's Death of the Gift (Parallax, 2010), this visual fragment echoes relational suggestions hinted at in the text. Biology and personal memories, faces and cells, loss and sense of belonging are the points between which this visual pendulum swings, culminating in an asking gaze – will you return the gift? Will you acknowledge that your genes and your thoughts belong to this same constellation? Will you protect me as you would protect your own self? My scarlet genitive is you. You belong to me and you generate me in the most basic and asymmetric exchange of our common being and having been alive.
The Other Person
“The concept of the Other Person as expression of a possible world in a perceptual field leads us to consider the components of this field for itself in a new way. No longer being either subject of the field or object in the field, the other person will become the condition under which not only subject and object are redistributed but also figure and ground, margins and center, moving object and reference point, transitive and substantial, length and depth. The Other Person is always perceived as an other, but in its concept it is the condition of all perception, for others and for ourselves.” -Gilles Deleuze, What Is Philosophy? The Other Person shapes a gravitational field, creating concentric zones of intimacy and inviting shared vulnerability. The conversation with an image on the threshold between captured and performed activates and shapes a field of forces designed to flow towards a certain intimate viewing position. But does your space flow with opposing force-fields? Does the presence of other Others create counter-flows? How close are you?
This piece is a contemporary reference/action to Guy de Bord´s Society of the Spectacle, a metaphoric representation of modern attributes surrounding the onslaught of pro-consumer propaganda as perpetuated by the government of the United States after the September 11 bombings. The headline “Remember” was thrown up from Bush's pencil lips, a reminder to Americans to shop the tragedy away by ignoring the US's implications in the deaths of thousands of civilians. This call to recollection was exacerbated by the sudden burst of memorabilia flooding the streets of New York and slowly creeping into the homes of people all over the country.
My use of music is crucial, especially the American Anthem, a song blasted from the speakers of tankers rolling into Afghanistan to frighten the population. This “spectacle” was a moment to help remind us of the manipulations of capitalism that surround us each and every day. I shot it on the first anniversary of the suicide attacks, 9/11/02, along with Sara Louise Robinson.