(1998, 2004)
Dan Senn
see video

This is a politcal work of a kind Václav Havel would approve, a great playwright and politician who I met not long before his death in Prague, at a performance of his "Letters to Olga." This video of Shaaron, my foster sister, was unknown to me when it was shot in 1998 as she had sat univited in front of a camera my mother and father had used to tell their life stories. Using a technique I had learned from Phill Niblock, where a subject talks to themselves in a viewfinder, I gathered candid life stories from my parents, and the Shaaron too! With the camera still running, Shaaron sat down, alone, and started talking. At first she did not pulled the mic close and the sound is noisy but then she seems to figure this out, pulls the mic close and her voice is clearer. I like the noise and her brilliant performance.

I discovered this video six years after it was recorded, in 2004, asked Shaaron if I could use her footage, and she agreed. The work is decidely political as it is a chilling exposé on life within a fundamentalist Christian family describing a form of modern day slavery. In this time of Trump, it is a all the more relevant.

The romantic and fragmented sound accompaniment for this video is taken from a cassette produced in the late 1980s where only entrance phrases and sung words and tones are used, often repetively.

The video frame here is reduced to a small black and white box, as if Shaaron is talking though an opening in a door to a room she is being held captive in. 

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