Gary HillAmerican (Santa Monica, California, 1951)
Suspension of Disbelief (for Marine)
Hill uses electronic images to investigate the relationships between language, bodily perception, thought, and feeling. When he began working with video in 1973, he was already experienced in performance art and sculpture, both of which have continued to inform his practice. He uses the video camera to capture an action, which he often performs himself. He sometimes frames the resultant images within metallic structures that refer to his early sculptural works, which he used as props for his staged performances.
"Rarely is the autobiographical aspect of my work mentioned," notes Hill. "Deconstruction and semiotics are fine, but sometimes theory misses the simplicity that can engender a work — some life event that provides the impulse to do it. Suspension of Disbelief is a case in point. I had been seeing a French woman, and given that we lived on separate continents, the relationship was difficult. This piece was a way of bridging the gap. Some of the recording involved meeting halfway in New York, where I videotaped Marine on a hotel bed using a handheld camera. This was the second "switch piece' I did so I still had the energy to do two-frame edits one at a time. The continual "firing' of the images keeps the bodies moving and entangled and the traces of the screens active and alive, only to evaporate with erasure. This turned out to be very apropos."