Between You and I

‘Beginning to think again – to grasp, to connect, to put together, to remember…
Only to remember to remember, or at least remember
you have forgotten….
Each forgetting a dismembering.
I must never forget again… the terrible danger of forgetting that one has forgotten. It’s too awful.’ – R.D Laing[1]

It moves you.

Watching Annie Macindoe’s video, Between You and I is like falling into the back of your mind. The hollow noise of bad weather: rain and wind swells and fades along with the rhythm of thoughts and memories that come to mind. The almost still images barely move. Often, they fade in and out of focus. The short phrases that float across the screen do not line up to tell a story. They don’t try to explain, caption or define the images in the work. The less said, the more we feel. In these sentences, the I/you/we/she/he make this personal. But is it personal for the artist? Or the viewer? It seems to be both. The more personal the observation is from the writer’s point of view, ‘I’m trying to say’, the more I am relating to this from my own perspective. It is the only one that I think I know and the only one that I cannot see from the outside.

The title, Between You and I refers to this paradox. It both references an intimate conversation between two people and at the same time, the word ‘between’ notes the absolute impassable gap that separates two individuals. The inability to use the dictionary of language that we have at our disposal to adequately express our worldly experience. Or, the weight of what we can remember to another. How can we understand? The phrases are fragmentary and incomplete like the slow moving close-up imagery. The video and words fade in and out to blackness, a gap, nothing. This does not so much build towards a closed meaning but instead disperses layer upon layer of time. Lost time, where we can reflect.
The everyday images switch between objects inside a Queenslander home and outside in nature. They have a strange emotive power. The philosopher, Gilles Deleuze has spoken at length about this element of cinema where ‘what the image represents is not the image itself’. [2] It’s not so much about the objects that are in the moving image but there is something else unnamable here that pushes us outside the frame. It makes us stop and feel and think. Photographic and video imagery, as medium, will always show a moment that has passed. And, in thinking about this, I want to refer to the ideas in Roland Barthes book, Camera Lucida where he writes about this unique nature of the photograph, ‘Not only is the photograph never, in essence, a memory, but it actually blocks memory and quickly becomes a counter memory’. [3] Something that was there then. Within the rectangular frame of the camera, it was never perceived by the eye in this way. But, frozen and framed mechanically, it died in time.
And now. We view it here… in the present. Like the images that are framed by the camera, memory is never stable or total. It is patchy, deceptive and elusive. And what allows a memory to surface, to regain meaning is primarily what is happening in the present. We recreate the past in the present. Memory allows us to make sense of what is happening now.

And yet, to move from moment to moment, we must also forget.  Memory and pictures are the fragments that time leaves behind as it carries on into the future.

Sometimes, we are left with these traces.
Sometimes not.
Was it like that then?  Or is it like that now?
Remembering not as it was. Really. But a deep swath of what it feels like to remember. You’ve thought about it.
In the back of your mind.
It’s been here ever since.
But you’ve lived everyday too. Without it.
‘Nothing tells memories from ordinary moments, only afterwards do they claim remembrance on account of their scars.’ [4]

Written by Hannah Grzesiak

1. R.D. Laing. The Politics of Experience And The Bird of Paradise. Great Britain: Penguin Books Inc, 1967: 150.
2. Gilles Deleuze. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. London: The Athlone Press, 2000: xii.
3. Roland Barthes. Camera Lucida. London: Vintage, 2000: 91.
4. La Jetée. Written and Directed by Chris Marker. 1962. France: Argos Films. DVD.​

Essay from the exhibition ‘ Between You and I’ by Annie Macindoe (October, 2016). Courtesy of Fake estate ARI