Chronicle of a Fall is an immersive, feature-length video installation depicting the fragmented, transient experience of a group of immigrants in the US. Chronicle of a Fall confronts a period in which interpersonal relationships, the experience of home, and one’s sense of presence and belonging have all been transformed and fragmented by global capital and electronic media, as well as by government policy. Chronicle of a Fall begins with a simple question asked of a group of six immigrant cultural workers, primarily from the Middle East and the Global South: “What is home to you?”
Many of Chronicle of a Fall’s immigrants or immigrant-born subjects (including the artists themselves) have left one country in which democracy is cast in shadow, for the US, only to find it too cast in a shadow of its own making. The work’s multiple videos convey the disjointed, partial nature of the immigrant subjects’ experiences, providing an intimate and visceral insight into their daily lives and domestic environments. Chronicle of a Fall extends its referent, the 1960s documentary Chronicle of a Summer by Jean Rouch, into the 21st century, and updates the former film’s cinema verité approach by using emerging technologies such as parallel body worn cameras used by both subjects and filmmakers, as well as through volumetric capture and projection mapping.
Like Chronicle of a Summer, Chronicle of a Fall considers how its participants negotiate the concepts of home and happiness in an increasingly fraught social and political landscape. As in the earlier film, the subjects interview each other, gather for dinner, work, or wander with only the filmmakers as company. Unlike its predecessor, however, Chronicle of a Fall is created in a period in which electronic media itself has become a space to be navigated, a nonplace in which the protagonists are immersed, often experiencing two places at once, or one place from multiple perspectives. In an echo of that dislocation, the videos depicting the participants’ daily life and private conversations are immersed in a pointillist 3D environment created from interconnected fragments of the immigrants’ shifting domestic spaces, as well as the public environments they navigate. Created by means of an architectural laser-scanner that converts places into 3D “point-clouds,” the encompassing semi-abstract animations depict intertwined, constantly slipping spaces—spaces that envelop and conceal the more intimate point-of view stories of love, loss, and longing.
A Species of Theft - May 27–Aug 06, 2022
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
A Species of Theft foregrounds the ways artists working with video have explored contested relationships to land through innovative narrative strategies. As a resource, land establishes all sorts of personal and political connections related to belonging somewhere. Its theft and rendering as an object for control have shaped settler-colonial societies and what their conceptions of race and identity are.
The exhibition centers on dispossession—the loss of possession, namely land or personhood—as an entry point for understanding how property ownership is generated. It’s informed by complex historical understandings of displacement, immigration, labor, and alienation between North America, Britain, and Kurdistan. A Species of Theft lends its title from theorist Robert Nichols’s book Theft Is Property!, in which he contends that dispossession is a form of theft—a recursive one dependent on law and race in order to produce and pave the way for property.
The featured artists converse with Nichols’ theory and are concerned with issues regarding citizenship, nation-building, and self-governance. They employ video as a means for recognizing futurity, eco-feminist practices, and sovereignty with an emphasis on editing techniques and narrative structures that expand on mediated experiences across varying landscapes.