I'm calling this a "Godardian normcore selfie" because why not? The phrase is pretentious but also funny and purposely a little stupid, just like the work.
"Violent Men" is a documented action in which the author of an essay on "the everyday violence of the suburban home" dresses in his father's clothes, standing in his father's workshop, while his father sleeps above him, reads this essay as fast as he can. It's another experiment in toeing the line between reality and fiction, and another attempt to use the medium to create a direct and honest event. I submit myself to arbitrary constraints to make way for these moments, allow them to take focus, because whether they're art or not, they are actual moments taken from life and are therefore (only) as interesting as life is.
What I mean by that is, despite how pretentious some of this might seem, I don't consider it fundamentally different from someone on Youtube comparing the tastes of certain hamburgers. These are moments, moments, moments, moments, and everybody's putting them out into the world in the hopes of shedding some light on their significance, the significance of the moments and themselves, both. What is significant to me is that these things are out there, they exist, and they can reach me, or trip me up like furniture in a blind dark room.
How much of our lives are determined by selection, curation, in/ex/clusion? How free are we to shape are lives by this selecting? Are we free to choose freely or only to choose, bullied into certain decisions over others by memories, desires, anxieties, misunderstandings, and the force and violence of others?
These videos are pretty much nothing, barely there, made very quickly, but if they're significant to me in any way, it's in this attempt to shape a moment, put it out into the world in a certain form, in this case a video, and see how its being out there affects me. Not what people might think or say about it, but just by it being outside of my head. But then the problem is, maybe you've felt this too, I've always found it difficult to feel like the things I make are actually outside of me. It's like a part of them always stays connected to the inner part they came from, like toilet paper to a heel.
I'm sorry if this comes off like some philosophical bullshit. It is, I guess. But I hope it's clear that behind it, and these videos, are genuine concerns about life and self and family and love and violence, the kinds of things everybody is thinking about all the time. I wish that instead of talking about these things to each other, more people made videos trying to capture the moments where these thoughts came to mind, to present events and moments rather than just explanations. That's what's important to me about them, and that's what I've tried to do here.
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