Winner of Best in Show at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2015
You are gone, I am here is a collaborative video installation between Ivette Spradlin and Athena Frances Harden. The video consists of a split screen of two different video streams. The top half is footage taken by Ivette Spradlin, the bottom half by Athena Harden. The videos serve as documentations of the lives of the two women over the course of several months. Both artists would take time twice a day to collect footage with their iPhones. This act functioned as a mediation and reminder of connection between the two even without the others’ physical presence.
Ivette Spradlin resides in Pittsburgh. She is a 37 year old educator and artist.
Athena Frances Harden left Pittsburgh in January of 2014 to live and work on a farm in Rogue Valley, Oregon. She is a 25 year old artist.
Before Harden left for Oregon, the two created a mentor/mentee relationship. They have stayed in touch with long phone conversations and letters. Harden is at a point of self discovery of who she is as a woman and an artist, she seeks stability and to be grounded. Spradlin’s life and work is stable and consistent, she longs for less obligations, to be a freer spirit once again. After the long, hard winter of 2013-14, Spradlin was dreaming of escaping. Harden was homesick and missing Pittsburgh as she adjusted to her new life on the opposite side of the country.
The two decided to collaborate on project that would serve as a representation of connection. Using the sky as something that they both can see everyday despite their distance, they decided to record the sky twice a day. At first the videos were shot at the same time every day, 9:00am for Harden, 12:00 for Spradlin; and 2:30pm for Harden, 5:30pm for Spradlin. As the days went on, the stipulations loosened and soon the goal was to video something, at any time, twice a day. What is revealed is their visual tendencies as well as their desires. Spradlin’s footage tends to be stiller, without people or animals, and comprised mostly of sky. Harden’s footage tends to have more movement, people or animals, and consist more of the ground. There were days or times of days where footage wasn’t shot for whatever reason, for those moments, the screen is black.