"Peephole" by Victoria Le
This project originates with my reactions to "disturbing" content in films - scenes of intense violence or emotional suffering. I tend to have a weak constitution when it comes to upsetting images. But I've found that there's something both alienating and reassuring about the size of a theater screen, something which says, "The images you see may be strange or disturbing; the people you see may be distressed or in danger, but it's all okay - it's just a movie." Because the screen is so large, the viewer is allowed to keep some distance (physical/emotional) from the images presented. I wanted to unsettle this relationship to the screen.
I selected brief clips from a number of films and shrank the frame size of each clip until the video image took up only a tiny portion of its screen. I tried to choose clips that are troubling specifically because of how they present their characters' vulnerability. I also removed the soundtracks for each of the clips in order to emphasize the emotional content of the images.
The tininess of the video is intended to force the viewer to lean forward and peer at the screen - to assume a physical intimacy with the image. With this project I hoped to interrogate the notion of spectatorship: to what extent are we, as viewers, supposed to be involved with what we are watching?
Oh, a warning: the videos are on the graphic side.