III: Portraits

Created and performed by: John MacCallum and Teoma Naccarato, 2018

These videos are part of a durational video installation titled III: Portraits. In the live installation, the two videos are played simultaneously on a loop, but divided in space, for example, on opposite ends of a wall, splitting the screen such that viewers must either make a choice to watch one video or to vacillate between the two videos to interpret relationships. In each video a performer faces the camera, face in close-up, and maintains eye contact with someone who is out of the frame. One video is of a man, and the other is of a woman. In both videos, the person’s face is being touched and held by the hands of the person off-screen. The intention of the person touching, and likewise of the reception of the touch by the person on screen, remains ambiguous. There is no linear narrative or arc to these videos—they are relentlessly slow and sustained. In the context of the durational video installation, in which the two videos are split in space and playing on a continuous loop, visitors can move physically closer and farther away from one projection or the other, and spend time with one or both as they choose, with no predetermined beginning or ending of either portrait.