station-number-six.comtitle-i-thou

: video : words & exhibitions : stills & gifs :

i.thou chapter: the bride screened in the 2009 Three Rivers Film Festival, Pittsburgh, PA.
i.thou : final cut screened in Under the Underground's MUFF Salon des Refuses July 13, 2014, Brooklyn NY.

"They found the dvd in the sand under her body. I don't know where she is." Distorted, revised, mutilated digital video images and audio were recomposed into a 38 minute film exploring archetypes of wounded and trapped women that are the core, the driving plot force, of many conventional media stories.

excerpt of David Finkelstein's review at Filmthreat.

The soundtrack, like the images, is a carefully constructed, many-layered reworking of samples from the original films. A dense collage of key phrases of text, music, and sonic accents such as a sudden intake of breath make the sound into a poetic commentary on the images. Fenlon also mixes in other kinds of samples, notably from Eminem's songs. Like hip-hop, Fenlon's artistic practice is to create a complex new composition by digitally altering samples from popular culture. Her film is a thoughtful meditation on the gender politics of films, so it is especially telling that she chooses to sample Eminem's own lyrics and his samples from Rihanna, with their glorification of men's abuse of women.

"i.thou" doesn't exactly tell a story, but it distills the atmosphere of dozens of stories drawn from films, generally stories where a woman is trapped in the (male dominated) institution of a mental hospital, a lab, or a prison, where she struggles equally against her captors and her own, internalized sense of being "sick" or "wrong." ... Fenlon's digital painting style often looks as if the images are made of a kind of sticky, gooey substance which clings to the people in the frame, which is an excellent metaphor for the feeling that the myths and messages of Hollywood have a corrupting, sticky effect on our emotional lives and self-images.

Looping and cyclical, i.thou is constructed of slowed and decayed motifs. Repetition in both image and sound works holistically, like a classical symphony. Narrative resonates in the space of repetition and avoidance. A memory slowly accretes; i.thou tells it slant, telling and not-telling a story.

Viewing notes in the 38 minute film, there are two pauses where the screen is completely black. The opening of the third movement is silent. All melting, artefacting, 'failed video' looks are intentional. Since the work was created using destabilized video files, each compression authored to DVD or other media will vary. No two audiences in different locations will view the exact same film. Slippage in technology points to the underlying illusion of "the one true view". The gaze of many fall on the one thing, and find many.

Technology visuals avidemux, ffmpeg, quartz composer, quicktime 7 pro, color, FCP6-X. audio apple logic 9 all production Jessica Fenlon

albums of stills at flickr