Marcy Petit (FR)
It was a Sunday in December 2015 when I first met Julien, a patient at the hospital where I was working at the time. A friendship settled, which soon lead to a Sunday morning coffee ritual. Julian was one of the most famous and popular hairdressers in Paris, he talked of his life, love and loss. I regularly spoke of my art and my ambitions for the future.
Stories about M. Petit, 2015, 20 Analogic pictures and text.
Realised in 2015, Histoires à propos de M. Petit is the photographic and writing result of one afternoon when Julian cut my hair.
Luce Roux, a photographer based in Paris, documented this performance with her analogic camera whilst I was retransmitting thoughts in my notebook. I was devoting myself to the exercise of automatic writing or "Pure psychic automatism" This method is when the artist suppresses conscious control, allowing the unconscious mind to dictate.
The eight photographic images are of Julian’s house; the shampoo in his bathroom, the progress of the hair cut in his living room, the tea that we drank together and the stories he told.
The Automatic writing is also displayed; the handwriting is in French and is sometimes crossed and scratched to remain true to the original work. For this reason the text is translated and edited for ease of understanding.
Stories about J. Chekroun (Stories about J. Chekroun), 2015-2016 Video and Voice recording, 9min 50sec.
Realised in 2016, the video Histoires à propos de J. Chekroun is an autobiographical memory of his life.
Two recordings were made but the series of questions were not the same, a gap was created between the sound and the image.
In my view Julian was one of the best narrators I have had the pleasure to know, his stories were both reflective and funny and something to be treasured. In contrast however, I couldn’t avoid seeing the sadness and fragility in the times we spent together and the time delay is the confusion ‘between what is said and not meant, and what is meant but not said’ Khalil Gibran
The Dialect of the Deep
In the womb we detect our mother’s voice as the most significant. Everything else registers as ambient sound. The importance and security of this was put under threat for me six years ago when my mum was given the diagnosis of throat cancer. The first treatments were laser surgery, with each operation her voice diminished. In 2014 the doctors finally decided she would under go intense radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There were many moments of unbearable silences. My mum couldn’t talk. I waited. In that waiting we regularly drove to the coast. Standing watching the waves she was grateful to witness and reconnect to the natural world. The waves offered an escape and understanding, the ocean tumbling in, a chaos and calm. Pulling us in and under. The horizons line our hope and stability.
I spent months caring for my mum waiting to hear her voice again. Days were spent in a dreamlike state. This film revisits this state and the raw emotions and numbness I fluctuated between whilst being a carer. I wanted to reference the closeness and forced distance you alternate between when caring for someone. Through close and distant visuals and through sound both audible and inaudible confusion. I also wanted to embody through film a human connection to the ocean and the remarkable power the human body has to heal- a part of nature.
My mother’s treatments were successful. I get to hear her voice, for that there no words.
There are reports that a cure for prostate cancer has been found in the deep sea, in bacteria at the bottom of the seabed. It is in the preliminary testing phase with a 50% success rate.
The therapy involves injecting a light sensitive drug into the bloodstream. It is made from bacteria that live on the ocean floor and are adept at converting any light into high intensity energy, which then kills prostate cancer cells without harming normal tissue.
I now wonder what other cures the Ocean holds.
“To date, we have explored less than 5% of the ocean. Much remains to be learned from exploring the mysteries of the deep. The ocean is the lifeblood of Earth, covering more than 70% of the planet's surface, driving weather, regulating temperature, and ultimately supporting all living organisms.”
Our eyes always search towards the horizon naturally. What is underneath in the depths is largely unknown, a place of magic and fear and glowing sea creatures circling through the deep. There are now claims for mapping the ocean floor, a study to seek out the earth’s potential. I have tried to encapsulate this awe and wonder of the natural world into the film. I also wanted to embrace the idea of our interconnectedness.