In Two Parts is an 8:12 minute single-channel video. In this work I am sitting across the table from myself, and I am reading out (to myself) responses I received from couples I had previously invited to perform in a couple-performance project Why was I so awful tonight?. In the work I am trying to figure out (with myself) what the responses mean socially and personally. I was interested in the stress and anxiety we feel as artists (and as people) when things are not going well, and there is this unproductive self-talk which goes on—two-and-fro—between the rational and the irrational sides of ourselves, and in our inner (and outer) subjective experience.
The work is strongly influenced by Andrea Fraser’s Projection (2008) and Kerry Tribe’s Critical Mass (2011). Projection (2008), is a large two-channel projection about the time Fraser spent in therapy in which, playing both herself and her therapist, she examines her increasingly ambivalent feelings about the art institution and her acceptance into it—of being in two minds about it. Critical Mass (2011) is a live restaging of Hollis Frampton’s classic 1971 film of the same title. Critical Mass (1971) was a ground-breaking experimental film which captures an argument between a couple, and cuts it up into a series of rhythmic, repetitive snippets. When I watched the Tribe film for the first time I was enthralled by the way the repetitive language thwarted the narrative, shifted the context, and transported me right back into that familiar and repetitive loop of inter-couple conflict; replicated many times in my own personal relationship. In Two Parts utilises the same rhythmic, repetitive techniques and contextual shifts used in both these work for similar aims—as a way to alter the context of the language-in-use, and to replicate the repetitive cycle of unproductive self-talk.