Single-channel HD video, 2-channel sound, 8:44 min
Edition of 5 + 2 AP
First the air is blue and then
It is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
It pumps my blood with power
The clearing. We find ourselves in the wreck once again and then again. A perpetual crisis leaves us suspended at ground zero. The potential to radically re-imagine the world, so palpable only a blink of an eye ago, now tastes bitter in our mouths.
Neolithic masks found in the West Bank and stored in private collections are hacked and 3D-printed. Copies circulate in Palestine, eerily akin to a black ski mask. A group of youth wear them at the site of a destroyed Palestinian village in Israel. Becoming other, becoming anonymous, in this accidental moment of ritual and myth. Initiating a series of trips to possess and almost be possessed by these strangely living sites of erasure and wreckage. Only now, returning to the site of destruction as the very site from which to cast a new projection that palpably evokes the potential of an unrealised time, not bound by the here and now or there and then. A parallel time that is not occupied, a virtual time that is not 'our' time.
And yet my mask is powerful confronts the apocalyptic imaginary and violence that dominate our contemporary moment, an apocalyptic vision that seems to clog up even the pores in our bodies. Taking Adrienne Rich's poem 'Diving into the wreck' as the beginnings of a script, And yet my mask asks what happens to people/ place/ things/ materials when a living fabric is destroyed. How in the face of such violence can we then begin to retrieve and reconstitute living matter from the wreck itself. The project uses the trips taken by young Palestinians to sites of destroyed villages as an avatar to think about the possibility of using the site of wreckage as the very material from which to trace the faint contours of another possible time.
In its intersections between performativity and ritual, body and artifact, thingness and virtuality And yet my mask is powerful begins to splice together a counter-mythology to the dominant mythologies of the present. A counter-mythology that holds on to our imaginative space as the last terrain to be colonised. The layers of images, texts, sound and things perform and activatevarious forms of returns, flashforwards and deja vu unfolding in this gesture a dense story of erasures and reappearances, dispossession and resistance, the archaic resonating in the contemporary.