Excerpt from 9:44 digital video.
‘From Our Own Correspondent’ bear’s the name of an archaic BBC Radio program in which BBC foreign correspondents tell stories about their embedded local lives. Featuring interviews with news journalists, bloggers and feature writers, Lucy Clout’s video interrogates the interview relationship/process itself. Particular attention is paid to the blankness and self-assertion the interviewers regards as necessary to their jobs.
Set within an aggregate of hotel rooms and corridors —transposable private and professional settings— ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ uses the potential for pleasure, horror and utter nothingness that is abundant in those spaces. The work examines the spoken, bodily and written construction of the professional encounter and the way in which the performance of various work and personal roles/desires blend into each other both online and psychically.
The video begins with an animated woman (a profile) who is simultaneously rehearsing alone in a hotel room and replaying her day. She nods and grimaces along to imagined subjects testimony, performing private rituals of productivity and inactivity in a half-dressed state. In the final section that same profile tells a story in which her own sexual life is intermingled with the (retroactively) shame-filled direct messages of a disgraced politician. The work is interested in pleasure, comfort, shame and the desire to be both witnessed and unseen. It’s a video about being and not being intertwined with others, it is about what a woman might need from other people and how she might go about getting it.
From Our Own Correspondent was commissioned by the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella awards in 2015.