THIS TIME EVERYTHING YOU DO COMES FROM ME

This Time Everything You Do Comes From Me_excerpt 2:20 min. (full 14:46 min.), two-channel video installation, 2018

The two-channel video This Time Everything You Do Comes From Me couples the audition format with personal confessional stories. Acting can be defined as “living truthfully under imagined circumstances,” which means that the actor uses only the provided text but is responding truthfully, instinctively to the in-the-moment situation. In this project four actors each recount a memory that offers insight into who they understand themselves to be. The stories told were transcribed and slightly edited. Later, each actor received the text of their own story and the story of another to perform. In this way the actors became distanced from their own stories, and both texts functioned as audition monologues. Thus, while emphasizing the “real” in the performative, “life” was transformed into performance material. Blurring the lines between “authentic self” and other, being, and performing, the work also requires the viewers to confront assumptions and projections they might have regarding the identity of the performers. While the monologues are presented as they were delivered, the performance of the person listening is a completely artificial construct. Although some of the selected reactions seem to fit well, the grossly stitched sequence points to the inadequacy of the way we listen to others, even when what they have to say is equivalent to our own experience. In an exhibition, the two channels are projected across from each other and not side by side as showcased here. The video won the UC Berkeley Eisner prize honorable mention. 

Installation View, Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley, 2018

© 2020 by Gabriella Willenz​