Creative Work
Aiptek video camera; Flip4Mac; iMovie; Filmora; Audacity
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Description (in English): 

hatchet    (video - 29 seconds, in color with sound)

hatchet is a fright of fancy - a concrete poem part rage, part fear. Decapitated segments are propelled in phonetic sequences suggesting threat, violence (domestic violence, stalking, rape) and escape. Words moving, pulled, hacked, torn and swallowed in a scream and blood red tear-drop; fighting flies; a “hatchet” refrain in whispers chugging like a train or train of thought locked in madness or fear. Audio recordings of trains squealing, a girl’s metallic screams and a cloying backdrop of “Tonight You Belong to Me” sung by Patience & Prudence are used, in part, to depict the tumbling psychological confusion often resonant in these crimes (e.g., she was asking for it; I made him mad; etc.). 


Sonically layered, pictorial and linguistic, functioning as text and subtext, words in hatchet are expressive through their shape,  color  and motion.  Unsynchronised from any audible words in the turbulent passage of the short piece, their chaotic silence corresponds conceptually to that of victims in predatory or violent relationships – e.g., historically, in the literal and judicial suppression of a victim's voice (or that of any powerless member of an unequal relationship). While reminiscent of aesthetic tropes in graphic novels,  the prominence of the text here is meant to evoke, on a visceral level, the shock and physicality of violence. At times unmasking the action or a memory of violence – catch her, hit her – and the pleas of protest erupting and disappearing throughout, a simmering persistence of revenge (fantasy) finds expression beyond words, through violence turning in on itself and an escape through that violence turning outward.


The brevity of the piece is intended on many levels. Aesthetically, each frame and sound bite is treated as elements in any work of art (e.g., painting, poem or soundwork) would be – that is, only what is precisely and perfectly necessary for aesthetic, conceptual, dramatic reasons is there.  The brevity is conceptually relevant as the video depicts a kind of powerlessness or diminutive position of the protagonist, the relationship of smallness to large, and relative largeness or smallness - forces, physicality and claustrophobic space.  Using essential aspects of the medium, time and rhythm, brevity and pace here mimic the kind of internal timing of memory, of fleeting thought, of instances of violence experienced, witnessed, remembered. 


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Hilda Daniel