l'art d'être · laureen andalib

Jane Gilooly: Suitcase of Love and Shame

In the Suitcase of Love and Shame, Jane Gillooly measures the power of accenting ‘the visual’ versus ‘the audio,’ almost in the presentation of a vintage scrap-book (or static collection of images). By almost resurrecting and re-giving meaning to a found audio recording (which captures the intimacy and dialogue between two lovers during a period of their relationship), she finds a way to permit the audience in experiencing their story— keeping them anonymous and never showing actual visuals of them, or even photographs they directly took which were found, yet set aside from the suitcase.

For some reason, what particularly provoked my attention (and sometimes my anxiety from hearing the intimacy of what they were experiencing— I actually enjoyed this. It made me question the limits and boundaries of personal space, in regards to capturing something so intimate and then playing it in a public space, and to what extent the levels of ‘acceptance’ and ‘uncomfort’ are presented upon an audience) was the amazing textures from their voices (mostly from the static, but also ‘decade dialect’), and universality of ‘couple experiences’ they were undertaking. Even though the recording is from the sixties (I believe), it’s amazing the affinity of what a relationship could entail in the past and the commonalities (and even brief instances of satire Gillooly even inserted) it still entails in the present.

Balance between the audio and visual, versus the imbalance of the two elements, was also brought to my attention— Gillooly places complex audio over visuals which were rather simple. At times, some of the visuals were strong, yet I started to drift away when she started juxtaposing digital, contemporary images with vintage, and primitive like footage and prints— perhaps because the difference in visual texture varied so much, and I started to wonder if she was trying to make a statement about the changing of time. Yet, it started to distract my attention from hearing the audio recording; however, I did love the idea of placing audio over static images, such as in Chris Marker’s La Jetee, as that inspired me to ultimately use audio recording in my own final film project, frustrating the viewer for what they are unable to see (but hopefully will continue to be provoked by), much like Gillooly does.

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Jane Gilooly: Suitcase of Love and Shame

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