In October of 2010, Craig Joseph, curator of Anderson Creative (now Translations Gallery) invited painter Marti Jones and myself to participate in a multimedia gallery show that focused on the ways people’s self-perceptions were matched, influenced by and (in turn) shaped the perceptions that others had about them.
You can read a local critics review of the show here and read my artists statement below:
The process of making films is always constrained by various limitations; the best filmmakers find ways to make these limitations into opportunities. Opportunities to offer a vision more specific and unique than the way we’ve seen the world before.
Being human is also about making the best of our limitations. Becoming aware of our fallenness. Making peace with our finitude. Best case scenario? Finding ways for our own brokenness to be an opportunity for und
Making these films felt very much like the process of building relationships.
I spent hours with each of the audio recordings listening, trying to understand. Sometimes I found the subjects hilarious, poignant, wise and delightful. Sometimes I found there words to be disappointing, frustrating, angering and worse.
But a documentary filmmaker must love the subject, and since I couldn’t rely on the reciprocality that usually allows us to see our friends with fresh eyes? I had to listen some more.
These stories (like Marti’s paintings) sprung from listening. I struggled to piece together the meanings and the implications and the unstated threads into a narrative wholeness. All the while recognizing that the wholeness was my own fiction. The making of my imagination and experiences binding together my impressions and perceptions of the subjects.
The time I spent with each of them? Face to face? Was a gift. They were, in every case, more interesting, more complicated and more enjoyable than I had expected. Unlike the fictional characters that I create in screenplays, these people are real and so — more complicated and rewarding than anything I could perceive or expect. Over the course of one week, I found myself in a Mexican restaurant, a downtown bar, the winding country roads of Hartville and an upscale church in Jackson. As a result? I had to change some of my ideas and expectations about both the subjects and myself.
In the editing room, I tried to let the shape of the stories and the people that I had met dictate the form that their final movie took. I wanted each film to have a distinctness that reflected something about my perceptions of these people.
In the end I only captured small glimpses of truth. Some of what you see is truth about them. Some of what you see is truth about me. All of what you see is truth about the process of perceptions, relationships and limitations. I hope that you see more than them and me though. I hope you can see some truth about you here. About us.
This is a trailer that showed the month beneath the show —