V E R S A R E | 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔏𝔢𝔪𝔬𝔫𝔶 𝔊𝔯𝔞𝔭𝔢𝔣𝔯𝔲𝔦𝔱
Single-channel video, Duration 5'59", Mar 2019
Showed at First Reactions Group Exhibition, London, UK 2019 and Exhibition Mexico in Ovalo Galeria de Arte, CDMX, Mexico 2019
‘V E R S A R E | The Lemony Grapefruit’ is a short narrative film grappling with societal roles, intersections of individuals from different disciplines and occupations, and the effects on the persona and inner psyche of the individuals. It explores power dynamics in observed or fictional circumstances and scenarios with cinematic parallels. Referencing the gaze, character as spectacle, absurdist dramedy, and deformity of the anima, the piece analyses the facets of an individual’s role within and outside an institutional structure — in this case, it is within the hints of a ballet company and its repertoire.
Through a short time-based exposition consisting of an emotionally sterile dining scene and a surreal choreographic sequence contrapuntal to the dinner table conversation and the interlocutors unfolding in the same space, the work examines how the domestic space and dinner table exchanges may function as a temporal place for insights into a character and their psyche, in which the audience may increasingly find themselves complicit in the trajectory of the cyclic, nonlinear narrative. As the audience is on the other side of the screen, their experiencing of the image, reading and unreading of the interaction are mediated by themselves being situated as both the surrogate body of the interrogative interlocutor offscreen and the voyeuristic gaze while being inadvertently confronted with emotionality and polarisation.
Language and meaning manifest in fragments in the realm of dream logic. The characters experience a certain kind of slippage of consciousness, which in turn dictates the contexts and motives of their actions, affecting the plot in a cache accumulating process. Language in the plot complements the image to bring out the interplay and hidden undercurrents of power dynamics present at the dinner table. In the slow dissolution of logic, the characters become two polarising psychological archetypes extracted from oneiric projections. The work presents a character who recalls various cinematic stock figures, and in conjunction a critique of dialogue and archetypes that function as cinematic devices to counter customary character portrayal.