Saturday, 6 August 2011

I.... Dreaming

Sweet spirit, see the dark void; the psychology of a space, this house in your absence, with its clutter and its mess; or the lonesome silhouette and the cramped interiors that feel enormous without your body there to claim them. Here, in the blurred images of an abandoned old man, and I... dreaming of you.

Immediately these images speak to a feeling of great loneliness suggested by the framing of shots. The emphasis on certain spaces within the frame that recall the everyday intimacy of domestic-living - the bedroom or the kitchen - creates a sense of devastating anxiety or discomfort when placed in contrast against the quieter moments of solitary reflection, insinuating the loss.

Even without the benefit of context or biography, the feeling of emptiness is here, in these rooms, with their small pools of light that drip from loft windows, drawing our attention to the devastating darkness of the rest of the frame. The house, as a home, with its usual connotations and associations, seems bereft, as if the actual building itself has fallen into a ceaseless state of mourning.

I... Dreaming by Stan Brakhage, 1988:

Here, the agitation of the form, with its jump cuts, its restless time-lapse of moments where the grandchildren play in the sitting room, suggests the inability of this man to feel at ease in these surroundings. The home, once familiar, once a place of comfort and relaxation, is now a place that traps the body in a limbo, between solitude and desperation.

The man, reduced to nothing more than shadows and shapes, a reflection in a window pane, or a blurred and obscured mass in the extreme close-up of the camera's eye, is himself an empty frame, haunted by the ghost of his subject.