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Les Souffrances Du Dubbing

Michael Curran
1995
5 mins Colour Video

Les Souffrances Du Dubbing

Taking its title from an Artaud essay The Torments of Dubbing, the video begins against a background of cascading water, a transvestite sits, reflecting on travels to Spain. It soon becomes apparent that the voice heard is not that of the character on view but of several different women. As the video unfolds, the Curran progressively challenges both the identity of the character and the reality portrayed, as all is revealed as artifice. The feelings of uncertainty created give a clue to the mental and emotional state of the character.

"The terms inner and outer succumb to exhaustion. Once I suffocate the room with my memory, panic comes, the moment to evacuate. My wish for flight arises from an inability to reach the depths of my motives. In moments of despair I have to give up thinking. I know yet I don't quite realise.

The triumph of consciousness is the use of quotes and their variables:

'I have no claim for hidden depths. It's rather the depth that is already on the surface', or 'There is only one law, the law of the same.' The pleasure in creating a fabric of words!

Somehow, one inevitably ends up creating too narrow a space for oneself - the catatonia of being mirrored through the eyes of the other - the desperate dependence on the interlocutor and dialogue. Nevertheless the balance of such things is always a practical matter; how to resuscitate the mind, how to get through once more?

Then falls the triumph of having no consciousness, of having only nerves. To subvert suffocated space one can employ tiny motions, one can tickle, grimace, vibe, contort, mimic, turning this thing around, changing a place, making a gesture, and repeating once more."

Zorica Vasic, Exotic Excursions Catalogue

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