Who remembers Wayne (2006)
This work started as a component in a body of work in which I was exploring using time-based video as a way of creating a portrait of a person from the memory of others. It grew from a curiosity to see if a person’s identity could be re-created from fragments of other peoples’ recollections and where they fitted in our lives. It was important that no one knew what question they were about to be asked – the responses had to be spontaneous and unrehearsed.
Over a long weekend and unannounced, I visited old friends with my video camera and a piece of white paper which I unfolded and pinned on the wall behind them. I asked everyone the same question: What do you remember about Wayne? The disclaimer is that Wayne was my ex-husband, and none of us had seen him for over 15 years.
How they spoke, the body language they employed, their expressions, hesitations, and sometimes laughter – all these things became as important as what they actually said. During the editing process, I found myself honing in on these nuances and the gaps – those interstitial spaces that are nonetheless loaded with meaning. Not unexpectedly, I also faced my own crisis – through the final editing process, I became acutely aware that I now had control over his identity and was deeply implicit in how to resolve this work.
I pondered this deeply.