The exhibition Cut/close to home is a "when love goes wrong" scenario that explores control, sexuality, violence and self respect within a relationship. This installation features a video loop of a man and woman fighting in the boxing ring at Sully's Gym. The video uses a rotoscoping technique (in which animation is drawn on top of live action) and is projected on several layers of semi-transparent plastic curtain strips.

Viewers can separate the image with their hands and walk through the video to the bed on the other side. As they move into and through the curtains, they become the agent who breaks the cycle of violence; the projection while it doesn't disappear, is altered. Now a participant, the viewer is emeshed in a shifting situation. Have you seen the movie the Conversation? This is a bit like that - you think you know what's going on but your intervention creates more confusion.

It took me awhile to realize that this installation had shifted my intended meaning somewhat. Because of the size of the gallery, the video has the greatest visual clarity from a distance so that the closer you get and the more you intervene physically in the piece the less you see of it. Combined with the recurring violence of the loop I would say that a plausible and sadder reading is the inescapable nature of violence. However, if we resist that violence we might find brief satisfaction in standing up for ourselves. What else can we do?

An evocative original score creates a sense of submerged longing and makes the violence unfashionably sexy. Maybe the different senses are explaining different things to us.

Cut/close to home cast: Philip Anisman, Isaac Morkel, Ryna Schickler
composers: Christine Fellows, Jason Tait
musicians: Christine Fellows, Jason Tait, Bob Eagan, Jeremy Strachan

Robert Langen Art Gallery Wilfrid Laurier University John Aird Centre 75 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5

thank you to Robert Langen Art Gallery
curator, Suzanne Luke for her help and helpful suggestions.

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