You're Gorgeous, You're Mad

Video installation. 2019

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 whole image of one’s self-perception.


To examine this theme, I invited a group of international artists in Virginia, to participate in a series of self-confronting acts. In the first act, I asked them to stand in front of a mirror and share anything which came to their mind regarding how they perceive themselves, as well as what their family and friends think of them. Those notions were their subconscious interpretation of their past events and memories, which are rarely revealed entirely.


I directed them to focus on the traits they appreciate about themselves first, and later, on those that they or others dislike, a division which allowed them to avoid self-contradictions. During these sessions, the voices of the participants were recorded, and subsequently, they were edited into two short audio compositions.


In the second act, the participants confronted their reflections once again; This time as they stood alone in front of a two-way mirror, while listening to the two edited audio pieces of the first session, one after the other. The act evoked a wide range of feelings and reactions, as well as an intensified confrontation between their conscious and sub-conscious self-image. Their reflection in the participant’s body languagewere captured by my video camera from the opposite side of the two-way mirror. In a way, those reactions are a visualization of meaningful as well as traumatic memories, being re-evoked.


In the final video installation, the two videos are brought side by side. They are screened simultaneously, thus forming a physically-impossible dialogue between two contradicting sides in each individual’s personality.


The work was created in Cape Charles, Virginia, USA, as part of the artist residency Experimental Film Virginia.

© 2020 by Dafna Tal. All Rights Reserved.