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Deadpan (2009-11)

This video is an attempt to span the gap between performance and its documentation. In this short piece I am driving, in the rain. I am playing a recorded speech on my iPod over the car radio. Through the duration of the piece, the art historian's strident, authorative specializism is allowed to play out, setting up the scene. An audience member is the foil for this lecturer’s confident mastery of the subject. Its punctured by a question from the audience referring to 'deadpan'. She stumbles, mumbles and reveals the limits of specialized educaiton. It creates a ring-fenced polity in which extraneous matter - often the point of interest in art - problematizes the flow of such structured, bracketed theory.

Click here to see an example of how I treat this work in the exhibition context.

Within this moment we find enclosed doubt, and through doubt the veil of certainty is lifted. Throughout the piece, I attempt to rewind the iPod to play exactly this moment as much as I can, but while distracted driving, my ability to do so is impaired. My attention oscilllates between the danger of driving and the difficulty of operating a device. Such process creates a conflation between the image as viewed and the audio that accompanies it. The image poetically represents that moment of internal questioning and connects to my overriding interest in the viewer, particularly where the voice says "well, ...I think that deadpan...leaves a lot of work up the audience..."