Created as part of my residency at The Arches in Glasgow, this project responded to the shared concerns of my studio practice and the work of French writer, playwright and visual artist Jean Cocteau.
A French speaker, I have always been intrigued by Cocteau's ability to treat the same issues of modernity and contemporary culture in all of artforms, so when informed of winning the residency at The Arches I thought it the ideal opportunity to explore working in new media by re-writing and filming Jean Cocteau's classic monologue 'La Voix Humaine' as a video installation. Written in response to the appearance of the telephone within contemporary culture and its resulting influence upon the dynamics of human interaction, Cocteau's mini-tragedy was presented as a monologue in which the female actress responds to an unheard, unseen male by telephone. 'The Human Image' as it came to be known, takes this theme and re-contextualises it to reflect the current technological innovation of the time, presenting this 'monologue' as a webcam conversation in which both actors can be 'seen' but only the female heard; the male responding by text.
Retaining Cocteau's somewhat brutal, unflinching style of delivery, the resulting video is intended to be difficult to watch as the audience are made voyeuristic spectators to the dying moments of a relationship, however where Cocteau desired the actress to be percieved as if 'draining herself of blood' in the resulting dialogue, my film the ensuing spectacle exploits the natural ability of the media to instill a disembodied, unreal tension that places the audience in the same place as the characters themselves as 'spectator'.
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