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Description: The video collage Befriending focuses on an unremarkable aspect of life in the developed world — the ritual of showering. But a few things are amiss.

The artist is clothed. The water is obviously cold. Artist drinks from the showerhead. No curtain shields her from being viewed. The effect is one of discomfort, disorientation.

Each image is a combination and juxtaposition of two images. The first is smaller, on the left, and from the “first take” of the video shoot; the larger image on the right that is superimposed upon it is the “second take” made by the artist. This creates an additional layer of tension between the different performances — one added to the primary tension of an audience seeing an intimate act that’s not following “normal” parameters.

In the “second takes” the physical and psychological effects of being engulfed in cold water are even more pronounced — now that the artist is aware what a shock the cold water will be. Her expanding awareness becomes part of the underlying tension of Befriending as well. How much is the expectation of pain and shock part of experiencing another moment?

written by Peter Letzelter-Smith

Media: performance for a video

Duration: 20 minutes

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