Findlay//Sandsmark's "biograph, last year was pretty//sh*tty" Nov 22, 2015

by Andrew J.S.

38 weekends ago I lost my mind. A bad trip. I awoke in an elastic semblance of my life, one that was permeable, one in which I could peer into flexing interstices of space, the gaps between reality’s essential structures. I clamored for order in a realm where opening doors yielded more doors opening, where scrolling proof of my identity spilled liquidly from the screen of my iPhone, where each sibilance I emitted would scuttle across the ceiling like a cockroach. The living room and couch upon which I laid writhing was a construct of my mind, or perhaps its interior.

I saw the present assembled in real time. Time had become place. I considered then the past. Not anymore just as things that had happened, but as destinations — physical as much as temporal. This materiality of time and my new uniform vision of it provided a terrifying, tantalizing insight. I could almost see the future.

I found these conditions recollected in biograph, last year was pretty//sh*tty. They manifested a state of inquiry I’d never be able to engage again on my own. I loved it. Time and control in an agonizing dance, set brilliantly to a seismic and glittering sound score, words and memories of the present woven exquisitely into the fabric of now.

A man sits left of stage, cutting up pictures from days bygone, taping them together as he pleases and sticking them to the wall. It’s how we write history. Things happen, we make our version and we hang it up. Joey in the middle of it all seemed to grapple with the same task, but dealing in the present, embodied perhaps by Marit in her captive dance. He could see it gathering around him, and despite his desire to control, he couldn’t summon the power to do so.

The performance was deconstructed, layers dismantled and psychically charged. Video of moments only just past united past and present, the exterior and the interior, flattening all dimensions. Gauzy scrims represented a room as much as the perceived confines of time or the limits of a mind. These walls were just thin enough to show what was on the other side, hiding and revealing equally, perhaps a reminder of why they put them up in the first place.

We don’t often deal in this kind of inquiry because of its inaccessibility, its horrors. But the rewards of enduring this deepest of fear to ask questions and actually see time as physical substance — it’s magnificent.

biograph is an opportunity to stand at the edge of the cliff. A communion with the ineffable qualities of time. A question we should ask forever, or wherever.