“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, the Colonel was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” So reads the opening line of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. It strikes me one of the most compelling opening lines of any novel. Within its precision of language and visceral intonations one can transgress an entire generation of time and reconcile the imagined searing afternoon heat with the glacial purity of the frozen water, all in one sentence. There is an unambiguous seduction through the incompatible details, challenging our need to somehow apprehend the order, the meaning, the purpose, the story.
In much the same way, SERIF is woven together from nearly ninety different film clips, carefully chosen for their narrative value and evocative nature. Seemingly disconnected, the fragments unfold nomadically, creating not a story line, but an axis upon which events accumulate or, more accurately, instigate. The structure intentionally mirrors a zoetrope, flickering constantly and rhythmically while dependent upon a kind of persistence of memory to shape the biographical trajectory of the many bits and pieces. In that sense the video functions very much as a personal memoir, written in cinematic fragments, while focused on the reciprocity between memory and imagination.