Imran Perretta: Brother to Brother @ Jerwood
Emoji summary: ➿ 🙅🏾 👤
I think it’s important to start by saying that I really liked this. Like, TWP has always written in an unashamedly subjective way, and I have always been biased. But recently me and Gab have been talking about disclosing our biases; like, if we should state them and make it clear where we’re writing from. So disclaimer; I like this work nd here’s why::;;;;:::
Pinpoints are sneezed out and the camera kinda splutters; I’ve been weirdly obsessed with the aesthetic of military screens /// control rooms, cross-hairs. Like when u wonder what ur hair looks like from the back.
This must be like a super concentrated version of that feeling like ur being watched, but I’m in an unfamiliar position in that transaction. I am normally subject, and now I’m in someone else’s seat that’s still warm from when they were sitting ~ick~.
I wrote in my notes: “I feel complicit and angry”
The figure is hunched over and pale; I feel bad for saying that, it feels shitty of me to say.
The green screen behind goes transparent /// backgrounds rub against each other, along the grain.
A dead lizard floats on a river // my uncle in Gajipur has a farm; I miss the river and the plants and the sky. Speaking about it afterwards, my boy thought it was weird that I felt at home; he felt on edge. He said he thought it was meant to look unfamiliar (READ: OTHER).
The calibrated pinpoints fade out // lights flicker // rain pours /// I didn’t realise that the stool was overturned until it cut to black and the light had burned a shadow of the shape into my eyes.
The text was specific.
idk where it came from. It felt like a narrativised violation, but I didn’t know what that violation felt like or what shape it was bc it was just text jumping around on a screen. For me to feel empathy I think I’d need a voice or a body; but I’m glad it was just text. Idk where empathy /// sympathy ~misplaced pathos~ would sit in relation to the hunched, pale figure that came before & after the text. (Abjection & pathos; a lovely recipe 4 the brown subject. I was glad this work stood away from that.)
I still recognised it as a familiar smell —\- like gaze but more invasive —/- the smell of being watched maybe?
I didn’t know how or where to place the specific and familiar kind of violation the text describes. I think I was trying to process the way my empathy should have felt; it had a rhythm. And the sounds disturbed me from feeling too quickly (they made it cold). Bc like a horror movie sound track, they amplified the feeling of the image(text); and the image(text) was cold too.
It was all very strange.
We left quietly.
Bc it was a not-easily-located-feeling that was also familiar; but I wasn’t so sure how.
It was that feeling when something happens and you think it’s bad or wrong, but you can’t quite voice how or why ;;;; u just know it is.
(I’ve just realised that feeling might be the feeling of being stripped of agency. It’s the feeling I got when I was on a school trip to the Houses of Parliament, and me and a hijabi girl were the only girls in my year that got sent through the metal detectors. That feeling at the base of ur throat when u have to move on and swallow a lump bc it’s not worth it. But you’ve still traded something in, whether u know what it was or not? u get me? It’s a vague press on the front of ur throat.)
I only read the handout text that evening; I fished it out of my bag by accident n I wish I hadn’t. Bc this film affected/effected(?) me. And I think its power was in that v specific // implicit & vague // that cold familiarity. And I liked that. It made it unstable, and I thought that instability was amazing. I feel like maybe issues get reduced when u itemise them, name them, and place them into something quantifiable. Something happened when the work went from something felt and understood ~bodily~; to something known. It made the lump in my throat easier to swallow, maybe bc it went from experience to explanation (but also, maybe I am just scared of the didactic???) I was angry at the handout text bc it gave the disembodied/voiceless text a voice & a body. I was much happier with that vagueness staying as a feeling ~ carrying the lump in my throat with me as I walked on down the road. I think u should be able to make a work about a political thing without making a political work; I think I was angry at the handout for politicising something I knew and felt through my body. Just text: untied from body and voice is difficult to categorise; nd when u can’t categorise it, it forces u to chew it over properly (there’s a word: ~mouthfeel~ idk what it means but it sits well here).
I hope no one reads the handout: this work deserves to be felt separately and clean from ur empathy.
Brother to brother is showing @ Jerwood Space as part of their Solo Presentations 2017; it's on till 26th Feb xoxo