The Apparent Trap

1999 | 00:24:00 | United States | English | B&W and Color | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Art History, Psychoanalysis

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This work attempts to further the critical dialogue surrounding the strategies of repetition and re-enactment. The Apparent Trap is a work that reminds the audience of the psychoanalytic implications of these strategies. It examines Walt Disney’s The Parent Trap (1961), a story in which twins decide to switch identities. The conceit of identity, the violence that erupts when one is confronted with one’s mirror image, and the “trap” of identification with the Other are all themes explored by re-enacting selected video art that speaks to these issues. Vito Acconci’s Pryings, for example, is reinterpreted as a search for recognition rather than simply as a rape scenario. The subject seeks recognition by forcing open the eyes of the other. Ultimately, The Apparent Trap contributes to the art historical dialogue exploring the dual nature of re-enactment, as both radically emancipatory (Benjamin) and tragically limiting (Lacan).