C L A U S T R O P H O B I A
A five episode video art series
analyses the anxiety of both physical and mental confinement as well as a sense of self-inclined suffocation. The series explores the need of inevitable escape through fantasies, technology, and illusions as a sign of comfort. Through using archival material, the series capture a rustic sense of melancholy and the inevitability of loneliness and mental health in modern ubran diaspora.
Lowkey Blue Fantasies
focuses on the chaotic urban landscape of a modern day.
The deteriorating city rain and its drenched passerby bow away from the slit of blue sky in the frame. It gives birth to a contrast between the real and the dreamt.
A daydream is a lowkey fantasy, dreamt intentionally and consciously to escape
the immediate surrounding. In this case, a conventional cityscape has a strong sense of disintegration: the rain is acid, the buildings are gray, the constellation are tucked away in layers of pollution and the only idea of a star is depicted in the Converse floating in a lost disposition. It contains a finality in its very identity: AN ALL STAR. It shoots across a stretched black landscape like a fickle wish, so hollow it is recognizable by the general crowd of its morbid emptiness.
The lack of hope, trapped up and down in concrete, in an outstretched blackness, drenched in dusty rain, gives birth to a strong sense of suffocation, a claustrophobic environment.
The escape is merely a fabrication.
is a dialogue towards the necessary dependence
on technology and the dire need to communicate through it.
However cold the machines, however criticized we are of our obsessions
with them, we are desperate to seek them in order to reconnect
and stay connect. In the concrete unknown, the displaced find ways to breathe through screens.
The reformed pixels of our friends, family
and lovers, pump our lungs back to life.
A thousand skyscrapers, aligned in rows and columns, come forth as prison bars. The gaping streets become necessary for the air to filter itself through. The wind whistles and howls. In that chaos, of buildings threatening to topple over weak bodies, my phone grows warm in my hand, and I am typing:
"Amidst the glossiness of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feelings — depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage — are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice
or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails."
- Olivia Laing,.
Chapter Three is a dialogue with the unconscious demands of societal pressure.
The city, flocked with activity and a never-ending desire to achieve, effects its residents with an individual feeling of anxiety which they are unable to shed amongst the bustling crowds. Yet, ironically, it is at moments of physical solitude, one is able to realize the invisible barriers of confinements, and this very acknowledgement helps uplift the sense of claustrophobia, allowing one to breathe.
Alfred Kazin puts it in precise words:
"The contradiction itself is the reality in all its manifoldness. Man from his vantage point can see reality only in contradictions. And the more faithful he is to his perception of the contradiction, the more he is open to what there is for him to know."
In places where lungs are pumped dry and throats become parched, the identity remains always at war with the simple reality: we are a changing entity, stuck always in the dusty memories of the past, the anticipation of the future, never ever, as time ticks on, remaining the same. In the end,
my own language, my skin, my religion, my heart, my memories, my whole being, is a result of my ancestral power whose glory can only be identified in moments of fixed time.
As an aging human stuck pondering between overlapping worlds, there can never be a comparison.
Make A Wish
The final chapter of Claustrophobia ends with the essential focus
on the importance of cultivating hope, especially in regards for progress.
In the previous chapters, I have expressed the inevitablity for change
and how the emotions of anxiety, depression, loss, are not just a result
of one's own self but of a number of external factors
not fully under one's control.
Therefore, my ponderings has never dwelt fully towards pure disintegration.
This is expressed in the very visible moving presence of
the Converse All Star, representing, in all its glory, a simple shooting star.