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