Reflection: My Mother’s Wing, Indefinite
The 360 degree aspect of each narrative definitely made the works more visceral, and since the works deal with site specific subjects, the cinematography was not only a mode to connect with the viewer, it also paralleled the concepts tackled in each work. However, in My Mother’s Wing, the view is confined to one space, which in turn led to a more voyeuristic experience; the events and story remain separate from the viewer. I feel the narrative created in Indefinite was more captivating and immersive, despite the viewers’ lack of any control. Indefinite places the viewer in a series of different spaces, both real and animated, and through this movement of place infuses our perspective into the narrative of a detainee. I feel their use of the camera, setting and editing made for a more emotionally captivating work.
Indefinite goes further than My Mother’s Wings by creating animated spaces and overlaying computer-manipulated effects as skins and textures. Conjuring the sensations of dislocation and misbelief are crucial to the experience of entering, waiting and exiting UK internment facilities, so I feel adding visual effects made sense. At the same time, My Mother’s Wings was asking the viewer to listen and empathize for a past tragedy, so the clean imagery was an appropriate and honest choice.
The length of Indefinite felt long, yet it is simply the fact that standing and holding headgear gets annoying after about 7 minutes. That being said, there is a parallel to be drawn between the physical anxiety of the viewer and that anxiety being experienced by the detainees. So it makes sense, while at the same time highlighting one of the largest dilemmas facing video art: time.
I appreciate the stationary setting of the camera in both works. For My Mother’s Wing, we are a voyeur in the mother’s space and story. It feels natural to stand, observe and listen. On the other hand, Indefinite leads the viewer through the narrative, so one might anticipate and more active role from the viewer and possibly dynamic position of perspective would follow suit. However, the static position assigned to the view reaffirms our separation from the true events, reminding us that we are being led through someone else’s harrowing experience.