…But there is something about making a movie…
when you are in the reality of the film set, anything is possible.
…because the truth of it is, I love the camera….
On Massive Attack’s web site there are a number of links to short movies scored with music from their new album, in other words, videos. They are all very good, but the one entitled Paradise Circus by Toby Dye brings up a few of the issues that we will be looking at in this series. The short is an interview with Georgina Spelvin. What is fascinating about this interview is her impassioned discussion of the intimate relationship she developed with the camera. This relationship, as she describes it, is a way to liberation, a way to create a reality through desire. When she is intimate with the lens she becomes both the object of desire and the creator of images of desire. And in making that reality of desire she finds love – with the camera. All things become possible for her in front of the lens.
“When there is a camera running it is so thrilling.
God help me, I love the camera.”
We live our lives through the lens and the program. The intimate world, our interior world has collapsed through the ubiquity of the lens – we have no secrets. The details of our private lives, those physical and emotional moments that defined us have become the “reality of the set” where all things are possible. We live to act out, to display, to provide evidence of our interiority for an unseen, unheard audience. This “play” is similar to a religious experience formed by the trinity of the invisible audience, the lens and the program. When we confess, when we reveal ourselves to the lens we are cleansed, we become free. What are we seeking? Is it redemption, freedom, understanding or fame? What part of this lens capture of our confessions is “real” in the sense of our everyday lives? When do we stop constructing our realities and allow “reality” to construct us?
As we’ve allowed our lives to be captured in our technologies, we have given up something of the intimacy we are all seeming to crave in larger and larger amounts. That lost intimacy is connected to something that we used to known as authenticity. For instance, in the Toby Dye video it is clear that Georgina Spelvin in both manifestations of her “self” is acting. In the images from the movie the Devil in Miss Jones she says that her expression is “deliberate.” In her commentary she defines these fleeting intimate moments of joy or humiliation with a rehearsed delivery about that intimacy. In the meantime the music builds behind the commentary and the edited images moving us into her desire, building that desire and that reality within us. It is a construct, and this “reality” is made to highlight the fact that in front of the lens “anything is possible.” We, too, come to love the lens as Georgina does, but as we do, we lose the authenticity of those moments. We are involved in a passing fiction even as Georgina reveals her truth, her reality. We can not truly participate in this constructed reality, we remain desirous. This world, no matter how easily manifested, will always be hidden behind the screen.
“We are our own devil.”
The link to the video is here. There is graphic sexual imagery in the piece, but it is a masterful music video and better than most things you’ll see in a gallery. Toby Dye is a magician, transforming the banal into something beautiful.
reality will continue…