2nd Person

Tirtza Even

2023 | 00:55:00 | United States | English, Hebrew | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | 4K video

Collection: New Releases, Single Titles

Tags: Aging, Autobiography, Death and Dying, Installation, Landscape, Language, Love, Memory, Mental Landscape, Portrait, Sexuality, Youth/Childhood

The sonic fabric of 2nd Person, [originally] a multi-channel video installation, is formed through an array of women’s voices orchestrated as parallel tracks in a musical composition. The speakers, all women I have intimately known at different points in my life -- my child, my mother, my best friends, students, mentors -- talk with me about aging, growing up, death, motherhood, love and loss. They reflect on menopause and coming of age; express their anxiety about no longer giving birth, and their reluctance to become a parent; they speak about touching, and inhabiting, an aging body and about the struggle to define oneself as a sexual being.

Visual shifts within nine images projected on a single curved screen-strip, correspond to the voices loosely, reactive to the scenes invoked by the women’s stories, and to the harmonies and emotive range of the voices’ individual and combined music.

The women featured in the project are articulate, strong, and critical, as well as insistent on making their own positions and homes within and against a perilous, shifting landscape. They contend with their body image and needs, and reflect on their roles as partners, daughters, and mothers, their ambitions and dreams, as well as their vision for––and modes of––carving a room of their own.

2nd Person thus forms a polyphony of testimonies, experiences, views and emotions; a collage which, like many of my previous works, spatializes narrative and exposes its displacements, overlaps and ruptures. Diverse, partial and autonomous, the speakers converse contrapuntally and non-hierarchically, in an always unfinished encounter.

"Autobiographical film," writes Alisa Lebow, "implicates others in its quest to represent a self, implicitly constructing a subject always already in-relation, that is, in the first person plural."

My project stems from a life-long preoccupation with the off-frame, as the site of the unsaid or unseen. Now more direct and embodied, the off-frame marks the location of the 2nd person, "You", the invisible person addressed by the "I" (1st person) who speaks. In this instance, however, the categories are displaced upfront: I am the "You" addressed by my interlocutors. And since, as my most intimate companions, the speakers’ lives and thoughts, their inner landscapes, are intricately entangled with mine, my own story, or silhouette, is gradually outlined through theirs.

–– Tirtza Even

2nd Person Installation, Tirtza Even

Video Data Bank offers a single channel version of this piece for appropriate educational and screening settings.  A work in progress installation version was first exhibited at Currents New Media 2022.  Please contact us for further information about exhibition of the installation version.

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