You're Gorgeous, You're Mad
The presentation of self, usually in an attempt of creating a certain impression, is inevitably hiding essential parts in our traits, thoughts and feelings. This series is an expression of my desire to reveal a complex and authentic image of one’s self-perception.
The video presents an inner dialogue between two contradicting aspects of each individuals’ self-perception, revealing one’s secret thoughts and believes regarding to who he or she is.
Taking into account that the participants’ education and environment had influenced their ideas, their statements and judgments are likely to reflect some of the common thought forms of our society, regarding to what makes someone worthy or desirable.
* Please contact me in case you wish to see the full length video (12:30 minuets)
Every action, decision and even a word begins with an inner process of thought within the mind of the individual. Patterns of thinking of the past are fixed in the mind, predicting the "future" and creating the present: a pre-prepared future, the fruit of the past. To what extent are we able to reshape our automatic thoughts? And thus reshape our inner experience and our reaction to what is happening in the present of our lives?
There is no doubt that it is a crucial factor to learn to observe these thoughts and their effects, yet this manifold, complex mechanism of thoughts, believes and concepts, has yet to be unraveled by science.
I find these progressions of the human nature fascinating, and so I try to explore them through my art. In the project “You’re Gorgeous, You’re Mad” I look at the process of discovery: revealing people’s inner-reflections about themselves, from their subconscious, turning them into words, and the words - into vocal declaration which triggers physical reactions. By doing so I wished to create a more complex and authentic image of one’s self-perception, bringing to life the repressed concepts and believes, which impact their thoughts, feelings and behavior.
I started by inviting a group of international artists to attend a private, "confessional" session, during which they would share what they really think about themselves when no one else is watching, as well as how they assume they are perceived by others.
The sessions were recorded on audio and divided into two parts, one focusing on strengths or virtues, and the other on weaknesses. This division aimed to assist participants to present their authentic self-perceptions, despite the inherent contradictions. Admitting to both these aspects is widely considered to be socially unacceptable, perceived respectively as arrogant or unattractive. During these sessions, the voices of the participants were recorded, and subsequently, they were edited into two short audio compositions.
Several days after the audio recordings were made, I invited the participants to observe their images in a two-way mirror in a dark, isolated room. They heard their earlier confessions through a loudspeaker, which transformed their internal, secret thoughts into prominent “public” judgments. As they listened, their reactions, as expressed through their body language, were filmed from the other side of the mirror.
In the final video of this performance, I placed the two segments of the video recordings side by side, creating a dialogue between the participants' perceptions of their virtues (on the right side of the video) and their faults (on the left). One of the images is flipped, illustrating the difference between how the participants see themselves and how they appear to another’s eye.
While the two types of revelations are often contradictory and seem to reveal an inner schism, they also depict a certain similarity and proximity, as of two aspects or channels of the same basic current.
The work was created in Cape Charles, Virginia, USA, as part of the artist residency Experimental Film Virginia, with participants from various countries. The final video include participants from France, Italy, Taiwan and across the USA.
Participants: Alex Forge, Cat Kneip, Chingi Chang Bigelow, Christina Ricucci, Eldar Baruch,
Emmanuel Malette, Erin Romero, JP Stanley, Lucia Moretti, Marsell Chavarria, Nicole Lorah, Sonia Li, Wesley Swing.
Installation at the group show “Fantasy” at the IPF, Tel Aviv, November 2019.
The work is presented as a video on a screen which is viewed through a window that was installed as part of a wall.
Behind The Scenes
Filmed by Alex Forge, right after each participant
had finished his/her final session
The Work Process
I began the project by recording a series of audio interviews revealing how each individual perceives herself or himself.
During these sessions, the voices of the participants were recorded, and subsequently, they were edited into two short audio compositions, one for their desirable traits, and one for their opposites.
A few days after their audio interviews, I invited the participants to face a two-way mirror, while listening to their own recordings through a loudspeaker, which transformed their internal, secret thoughts into prominent “public” judgments.
As they listened, their reactions as expressed through their body language were filmed from the other side of the mirror.
In the final video work I placed the two segments of the video recordings side by side, creating a dialogue between the participants' perceptions of their virtues (on the right) and their faults (left).
One of the images is flipped, illustrating the difference between how the participants see themselves and how they appear to another’s eye.
2020 Copenhagen Photo Festival, Refshalevej, Copenhagen, Denmark
2019 “Fantasy”, Israel Photo Festival, Tel Aviv, Israel
2018 “Binary/Non-Binary”, GESTE PARIS 2018, Paris, France