Portrait
Joshua Nierodzinski and Natasa Prljevic
Duration: 9:30 min

This video consists of a home recording projected in a domestic space. The projected footage of a woman sitting at a kitchen table was found on a HI8 Video camcorder purchased through Amazon.  It seems that the original intent of the recording was to document this woman in her living conditions. Over the course of ten minutes she struggles to stay awake while eating glazed donuts. There is no sound.

Portrait is about the persistence needed to know someone, or anything. The original video is shot with a fixed camera in close proximity to the woman.  We intimately witness her facial expressions and gestures as we share time and space with her. This creates an experience where we are invited to share the table with her, like a partner or her mother. This intimate invitation is repeated with the projection of the footage in another domestic space. This time we are invited into a living room. The original video as well as the documentation of its projection are both shot using fixed cameras reinforcing a meditative, enduring quality necessary for understanding.

By documenting the projection our intention is to create a double portrait.  It is both the social portrait of a white American woman and a portrait of institutionalization.  Through re-presentation a private and banal moment becomes exoticized and voyeuristically consumed.  The mediated content is swallowed by a procession of foreign institutions i.e. other people, classes, socio-economic, and cultural perspectives. These shifts of perspective, or domestic/viewing spaces, provide the context that simultaneously reveals and distorts the original content.