Phobophobia: Methods of Protection
Within the series, Phobophobia: Methods of Protection, I have become the protagonist within an environment of fear, whether it is logical or irrational. The character within is stuck in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety as the figure moves from one location of the home to the next, executing various rituals and protective measures all in the name of safety and peace of mind. The performative still images and videos of this work seek to explore superstition and fear in a way that is obsessive and slightly over the top while viewed from the outside looking in. The audience inherently assumes the role of voyeur while watching the videos as the figure is executing all of the protective rituals within the privacy of her own home. The movements are set up in such a way that mimics the layout of the environment portrayed in the videos. Slight clues of the domestic space hint from one moving image to the next to reinstate the idea that these actions are contained within the same space of the home. As a whole, this is intended to simulate the feeling of being stuck inside the perpetual motion of the character within the work.
Each video is intended to run on a continuous and unending loop to further instill the idea of the infinite protective actions that take place within this space. After each act is finished, the objects the character has tediously worked on, soon disappear when she leaves the frame. This creates a sense of urgency from the character to return to the space and once again, to participate in the never-ending rituals that will inevitably disappear, once again. Each moving image in this work combines a catalyst for its particular fear as well as a temporary solution that is ultimately made in vain. Universal fears such as death, physical harm and broken relationships are all exhibited throughout this work.
Superstition and ritual practices for spiritual reasons are commonplace to most people whether they are conscious of it or not. Within this series I aim to overtly point out the obsessive qualities that make certain fears seem absurd although they are most often grounded in experience and self-preservation; both of which are logical and reasonable means for self-protection. The character in this series serves a self-protective purpose as she over-enthusiastically repeats actions that have no definite and immediate meaning while they still hold significant supernatural, religious or cultural backing within their traditions. There is a fascinating syncretic relationship between many religious practices, old wives tales, myths and superstitions that I could not avoid while making this work.
|All Video and Photo, © 2012-14 Heather Stratton|