The Western idea of progress and competition has encouraged a state of anxiousness and restlessness within humanity. The entertainment industry, particularily the television medium repeatedly sells us, in an ever strident and invasive voice, promises of more love, more wealth and more happiness. We ‘fill up time’ with relentless activity and noise, accomplishing goals that further drive us on the path to be better, greater, richer, happier, more beautiful, more wealthy, more engaged. This pursuit of the ‘perceived’ ideal has allowed little time for stillness, silence or contemplation. Endure is a two channel 28 minute single channel installation exploiting a stunted and irritating drama which captures the emotional drain of this obsessive activity on the human psyche. Each channel is continuous footage, unedited though manipulated.

On one channel, Tina Gonsalves has captured herself running on a treadmill at a very fast pace until she becomes caught in extreme and increasingly desperate exhaustion. The camera catches her sense of anguish and fatigue. The footage keeps rolling untill she can not bear to run any more and she is completely and utterly shattered. Using a technique of layering the video, the body begins to co-agulate and merge; expressions and distortions of the face melt and mutate through each other. The video scratches and blotches its way through the surface of the skin. This use of breaking down is a metaphor for the lack of containment of the skin as a barrier, and the vulnerability of the space of utter exhaustion. Near the end, the figures are almost mutilated by the intensity of the smearing video. The channel is taken to a point that corresponds with the violence and angst of a Francis Bacon painting.

The second channel captures shifting emotions in response to the more active channel. The footage is taken from single unedited shot of Tina Gonsalve’s face. She start off laughing and ends up crying. The process of subtle shifts of expression such as self consciousness, sadness, happiness and silence are captured. The sounds of her breath and heartbeat are included suggesting vulnerability and fragility. Projected intimately small against a wall in a darkened room with soft sound, the audience is privy to a private and intimate moment that would not normally be shared except with very close friends or family.

As the image in channel one becomes more anxious, the image in channel two becomes progressively sad.

Endure has been supported by the Australia Arts Council, Arts Queensland, the Banff Centre for the Arts and Artsway in the United Kingdom. Tina Gonsalves would like to thank Tom Donaldson.