With Martina Jenne
Single channel video, 22min.
‘...Perhaps the most mesmerizing is Sharone Lifschitz’s 2004 video Interluding, in which two women, both dressed in black turtlenecks, photograph each other. The women stand about three feet apart and each holds a manual camera. The expression on their faces is one of affection—sexual, even—but instead of touching or kissing each other, or even talking, they just photograph; the clicking of the shutter is the only sound to the video. One hesitantly poses under the vague direction of the other, a photograph is tentatively taken, and then the roles are reversed: the photographer becomes the subject, a new pose is made, and another picture is taken. It’s as though the most effective way for them to express their mutual adoration is by documenting the other’s existence in a personal, private archive. And, oddly, the collecting of images doesn’t feel contrived or overly mechanical—it seems natural, as though this is what we’d all do.
Furthermore, the scene is complicated by the fact that we, as viewers of the video, are watching the documentation of the documentation. Several times one of the women (the black-haired one on the right) breaks the fourth wall and looks directly at the video camera. She gives an awkward smile. At once it ruins and confirms everything: this is an expression of affection and we are privy to it, and they know we’re watching. It gives the whole endeavor a timidly exhibitionist air, as though they’re ashamed of being viewed, as though we, the viewers, are ashamed of viewing, and yet the whole process is a guilty pleasure for everyone involved—we all like it much better this way...’
Alex Starace | ‘8X8X8’ delivers mixed messages | MNartists.org