Single channel video, 2 channel sound+sub woofer 10’09” (2016)
'Only the beloved keeps our secrets' weaves together a fragmented script sampled from online recordings of everyday ritual and performance (through song and dance) and everyday erasures, alongside other material, ambiguous landscapes, growing plants in an abandoned development. Collected over the last five years, mostly from Palestine, moments from this material appear as moving layers with images building in density on top of each other, obscuring what came before in an accumulation of constant testament and constant erasure. Retrieving, in this unfolding accumulation and dissipation of testament, certain moments that have passed us by as noise, what we can not turn to see and what we can not turn away from. Uncounted bodies counter their own erasures, appearing on a street, on a link, on a feed. Words from their songs are broken up and reformed. Maybe it is here between seeing and not seeing, between appearance and disappearance, that what could be retrieved from the wreck can be glimpsed.
The piece is structured around footage taken from an Israeli military surveillance camera. On March 19, 2014, 14 year-old Yusuf Shawamreh crossed the ‘separation fence’ erected by the Israeli military near Hebron. He was going to pick Akub, an edible plant that grows at high altitudes and blooms for only a short period of time, and a delicacy in Palestinian cuisine. Israeli forces ambushed him and shot him dead. After a court injunction the military surveillance footage was released and consequently circulated online.
Only the beloved keeps our secrets invites us to consider the forms of entanglement between the destruction of bodies and the erasure of images, and the conditions under which these same bodies and images might once again reappear.