traveling thru with eyes closed tight

traveling thru with eyes closed tight
(map #2 – january 03 thru january 06)
35mm (1.37), colour, sound, 4 mins, 2006

made with the support of lift & the new directions in cinema series 2006

a yellow field meets clear blue skies.
a mist of water over bright green grass.
a well worn sidewalk in grey and white.
a lone black crow on a sandy beach.
a lowering sun fades into the sea.

Is it a perceptual documentary? Not a faithful record of what was right there in front of her but instead a record of the mechanisms of memory itself. The sound of a car issues and there is darkness, perfect and unrelieved. On the soundtrack there are Spanish voices and music from across a square. People are meeting, and then, without warning, nearly two minutes into the movie the pictures arrive, like a wayward uncle come too late for an important lunch, breathless and speaking about everything at once, as if to make up for the hour. The first image shows the wing of a plane, and then a backlit street with a small grey car pulling out, a tree, a telephone pole, a field of flowers, tram wires, further views of the country. Each lasts only a few frames, one erases the next in a blur of moments which will not be stilled and calmed and remembered. They exist in a democracy of time, these landscapes and cityscapes, and so become indistinguishable. A democracy of forgetting. There are views of the water, the beach, cars, again the plane (is it the same plane? Or is this another trip? Are we moving forward (is there progression?) or are we caught in an infernal cycle of repetitions? Tropical plants, alleyways, and then it’s winter, this has to be Toronto, the city we share (are cities shared, like meals?) and then it’s over. Though the sound runs on for another minute or so in the darkness, the darkness again. She’s been away but she’s returned, home again, managing to hold onto nothing, Or perhaps the memory of memory… wasn’t there something about? A glass half full and half empty. Twice upon a time. [Mike Hoolboom, 2007]