“Perhaps she would never see again those familiar objects”

I found these photos, documentations of a performance, on Instagram the other week. They are something haunting and – more than anything else – mysterious, unknowable, blurred. I wrote to @eevangelion______ -the account behind the work – asking for an explanation and received the below. I decided to keep it in its original state, aside for one or two corrections, because it is, well, beautiful in its precision, it’s non-native sentence construction and the slight confusion – unease – this produces.

“We are a duo, composed of Virginia and Angelica. Virginia takes care of the recording, which involves both video and photography, and Angelica develops the movements.

First of all, there is a lot of interplay. One role couldn’t exist without the other and viceversa, since Angelica is Virginia’s embodiment throughout – she wears her night-gown and interacts with her daily objects.

This work was conceived as the first part of a sort-of triptyque. It deals with the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, which has been haunting Virginia for a long time, thus drawing her into a deep reflection on it: plumbing the depths of her mind as well as of those few unendless minutes of complete paralysis.

Everything which is visible on the scene wants to be the accurate enactment of those inflated moments, when the mind is wide awake but body doesn’t respond at all. Plasterlike from top to bottom.

Virginia’s brainstorming and attempts at recounting to Angelica her feelings  was extremely useful in recreating this stifling condition.

The name of the performance, “perhaps she would never see again those familiar objects” comes from Eveline by James Joyce. This short story stroke us. We immediately decided to enclose, yet conceal, much of the meaning of the performance there, in what seemed the simplest quote, thereby dropping a hint for anybody who approaches our work.

What is really interesting about the performance is the fact that it lends itself to a broader view and can assume various meanings according to the observer.

It’s not only about sleep paralysis. It’s about paralysis in general, stagnation, decay, disgust for action (extremely present nowadays). And at the same time it’s the story of all constraints imposed to our bodies, pressure of the eyes of the others, stereotypes and the standardized idea of beauty.

Coming to much more technical issues, we would like to insist on a strongly hypermediated image. It must be blurred and ambiguous yet glazed and sharp in its own way. The observer is always about to grasp something – scarcely perceptible –  that continuously evades them. This is clearly a way of luring distracted people into the feeble yet persistent existence of the image, its inner dynamics, and allowing them to eventually possess it in loop – specifically in the case of the videos.

One may think that the loop technique is tedious, since it doesn’t produce any variation in the flow of the images. Instead, we believe that it poses deep challenges to the attempt to grasp and understand its, as well as our, life. Once we have gained insight into the artistic process, we are synchronized with the time of the performance.”