© Julie Alland 2017
Julie Alland’s Elegy is a visual poem and video essay about struggling to come to terms with the loss of her father. The video opens in silence with a stark, black and white image of smoke threading diagonally across the screen. It fades into a set of curtains blowing in the wind. Alland begins narrating the video by taking a deep breath. Her inhalation, coordinated with the curtains, creates a parallel between breathing and curtains buffeted by air. These images set the tone for the rest of the video.
Julie Alland uses a dark palette, chiaroscuro lighting and split screen to reflect on what it means to loose a parent to dementia, then death. Ghostly images of billowing curtains, airborne smoke and soap bubbles float throughout the video serving as metaphors for memory, absence, and grief.
We breathe air. Air is life. Air is invisible unless it interacts with something. Memories do not exist unless someone remembers. The dead inhabit our memories.