Selected Works

Gloomy Sunday
Single-channel video installation with sound, acrylic figures, speakers, books
Dimensions: variable
11:51 loop

photos: Rafael Goldchain

Exhibition venue: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2008. First exhibition: Cooley Art Gallery, Reed College, 2006.

Gloomy Sunday takes the famous John Filo photograph of the Kent State student shootings as a subject to interrogate aesthetically. The aim is to pull apart the relation of figure and ground to reveal them as operative elements that function independently in a manner similar to the framework of an image in relation to its context. We perform the gestures of two of the figures from the photograph–that of the slain student and a helpless bystander–switching positions every 3 minutes. The resulting video document is projected onto two translucent acrylic figures that are based on the sum of our poses. The effect casts shadowy figures on the screen, while reflections of our bodies are cast onto speakers. In each case, images enter and exit forms, slipping between light and shadow, from visibility to invisibility and back again. We off-set this seemingly analytical approach with our interpretation of a popular jazz standard, “Gloomy Sunday,” made famous by Billy Holiday, but originally written in 1933 by Reszo Serres. On Holiday’s lyric, Hadley sings a slight variation–“was I only dreaming?”– set to Maxwell’s guitar.