Between Distant Bodies No. 1 + No. 2
This post is about Between Distant Bodies. The beginning of an infinite video that showed at Frieze in London a few weeks back.
The idea for the piece began to coagulesce (not a word but should be) sometime in the last year around ideas of time travel in the Gulf and how transience, transition, transgression and a xillion other ‘trans’ biproducts that are formed out of such an event.
You see, it has become increasingly clear to me that the inhabitants of the Gulf region in the last half-century have time travelled. And I mean this quite literally.
The problem is that the extreme effects of the hyper-pressure involved in this process are only visible through certain lenses and over a certain timespan. Whether or not you can see it, strange changes are happening to the bodies and the souls of people in the Gulf right now.
If you dig through this blog (which I don’t recommend) you’ll see most of my thinking around the Gulf is predicated on the idea that a stargate or wormhole opened there with the discovery of oil and so I often end up thinking about my erstwhile home from a disembodied, alien perspective.
That’s where these videos come in.
The figures in Between Distant Bodies are like Dave in 2001 crashing through the stargate en route to becoming the Starchild.
They are mostly strangers to me from found footage but some of my own. They all exist or existed or will exist in that space/place now – all born into the hyper-accelerated situation of existenz in the Gulf states and then reborn.
Like light bending at 299,792,458 metres per second - they warp. And so in the videos I used the frame as the main integer and literally time-folded them into an intricate braid of transition and transgression (sexual, temporal and otherwise) in an endless diptyched loop.
The piece sold to a mysterious collector so I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to show you online. But for what it’s worth:
In one video a girl sneaks an illicit kiss in the back of a pickup. In another, a femme boy dresses up in his boyfriend’s police uniform and goes for a drive. There is much flyover footage of cities and deserts and even some Doctor Mustafa Saeed.