“Art is a conversation between those who are dead and those who are not yet born. We are merely translators.”
Victor Sancz, The 5th Wall
The concept for this work stems from this tenet of artmaking, central to my philosophy for creative practice. As a theatre maker, I am tasked with bringing the words to life from pages sometimes millennia old. These are the “voices of the dead”… Such a notion is inherently supernatural, like how Stephen King defines writing as “telepathy” in his autobiography On Writing, and I wanted to explore this as a horror theme.
This exploration resulted in an aesthetic influenced by Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker – creating tension in ordinary objects through his unique cinematography. I experimented with the camera to push the aperture as far as I could to create that otherwordly light. All the effects are in-camera (besides the titles), the washed out effect a result of video gain.
Following the thread of the horror aesthetic lead to other central conceptual elements. Alluding to the Blair Witch Project and Halloween, upon finding the location I was inspired to bring the forest and the mask into play together. The mask, besides offering a macabre and uncanny presence in the natural environment, representing the ‘voices of the dead’ or the entire history of theatre to which I owe my creative spirit.
Finally the concept of the ‘movie trailer’ as creative form made sense to imply a much deeper presence. It also gave rise to include the absurd voice-over and over the top non-diagetic soundtrack effects, to disrupt the audience’s passive viewing state. They are a central character in the video, it challenges them to participate in its message.