Wednesday, October 31, 2018

You Never Loved Me

Hello, it's been a minute! I'm here again to very excitedly announce my first video collaboration in quite some time. I suppose this doesn't happen for me much anymore, as I tend to adopt an incredibly isolated approach to art... in most cases out of a need but in other cases out of self doubt. I tend to think that no artist really wants to work with me. Many of us artists are very familiar with that friend -- Impostor Syndrome. Which actually fits the theme of this project swimmingly, as the creative process required to complete this work made me face myself in a way I've only explored once before. 

YOU NEVER LOVED ME is a deep dive into human thought, an exploration of the abstract psyche; Mechanisms so frail yet incredibly resilient, which desperately cling to external data to better make sense of themselves. The visuals I created to accompany the song are a representation of my own subconscious battling the consciously constructed symbols built to protect my mind. A battle which began to rage in 2016 with my discovery of EMDR therapy. From this, I found myself pondering the question of whether or not the information housed in one's brain is a metaphysical imprint of personality -- inescapable and unbending. The internal conflict born from the possibility we are condemned to the confines of a sense of self sculpted into entanglement by the gnarled hands of trauma. Or, perhaps, that who we are can and will be determined by experience, but as a tool wielding self awareness, put in place to build the individual we idealize. YOU NEVER LOVED ME is visual purge of the notion that painful memories are a mental prison, barring us from becoming who we were meant to be.

The "mother" of this project was interestingly enough Darren Aronofsky's Mother!; with many memorable sound bites from the film cleverly peppered throughout the sound piece. When I was first sent the song, its intensity truly threw me off. There was something about it that made it hard to listen to, much like the way Mother! is described as being a "hard watch." Both this piece of music and the original film resonated with me on profound levels, although levels which do not resonate intuitively. This is initially what drew me into the project, despite the weighty uncertainty of taking it on. I wasn't sure if I had the ability to describe my feelings concerning the aforementioned original film and the new piece of music inspired by it, let alone exclusively in images.

Much of what artists do is frightening. Complacency has the potential to murder art, so those feelings of uncertainty and fear pushed me forward. I knew the fears and experimentation of this project could potentially be freeing.

Taking it a step further, I decided I wanted the visual piece to mirror the uncomfortable nature of Mother! and Alone Architect's music. The "unwatchable" air emanating from Mother! inspired me to take a very experimental approach to the piece; using a slow build into unexpected displacement, leading to a crashing crescendo... yet with no predictable pattern, no rhythmic puzzle of cuts. Essentially breaking any rules that allow the viewer to follow along. This is more of a piece to unfortunately be subjected to (my apologies), much like the impression of an image, inverted and distorted, stuck behind heavy eyelids laying still at night.

I can honestly say that in the beginning, this piece was created through stinging eyes and burning anger. Spite seeping through my teeth, I combed through my old home videos, mourning the loss of any private, pleasant memories I once held dear. Memories that could have easily been saved from contamination, if only those holding my hand through my formative years would have taken the correct path. If I could have been more carefully carried, avoiding destructive tendencies which spawned in my early years, poisoning my thoughts onward. But that wasn't so.

By the end of the project, I felt a definitive separation between the pain I suffered growing up and the qualities I found in myself along the way. Not all was contaminated, and any contamination in my mind was now an opportunity for growth. The classic, played out metaphor of a diamond created under pressure came to mind. The pain was over and the past is dead, and with that clarity I realized that any pain I was subjected to by the hands of another was most likely unintentional. That they were drowning in their own file room of chaotic emotional data as well, taking everyone down with them in an attempt to stay afloat. I may have almost drowned, but the only way I can save myself and those around me is to organize the mess in my brain by any means possible. I'm not there yet, but this project created a new path toward clarity.

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