A SELF-MADE HOUSE is a looping video installation in 3 parts.
“Tell me a story!”-I began as the research methodology. Listening to the story is complicated by the fact that it is told specifically for the media gatherer (me) at a crucial time before the death of the family member storyteller and that he is allegorizing the family in the story for the family that surrounds him on that day one year before his death. It is a piece of found family footage shot in a grainy unprofessional manner. The story is at once scary, beautiful and hilarious and includes a giant hog that tries to bite the hands off of two little sisters and a house that makes its-self and that is occupied by a “successful bad witch”. It is at once the story of him telling the story and the story itself. The whole thing is made up on the spot. It is a fantastical allegory, a small gift for the family.
“Tell me a story!”-I asked another family member with clues to the first story. Part two is a lulling part in a milky black and white, woodsy, nonlinear, a space for falling, remembering and wondering what happened in the first part. You pick up what you can and combine that with what you saw in the first part. There is an unfolding, you have to get quiet and listen. There is a new storyteller. The storyteller lets you know that the first storyteller has died and allegorizes a fantastical future for the soul of the first storyteller in which he turns into a flock of 12 hawks.
“Tell me a story!”- I make up a third story in order to interpret the others; I write it out in a script, like a play and I perform it with animation, from ritual to theatre.
Part three is a remake of part one, a dismembering, A Tikkun Olam. Materials are broken and rebroken, mended and burned, built and collapsed, all the while the TWO Sisters (characters in the first story) take the lead, nancy drewettes stuck in the forest of the storytellers imagination, in the end the storyteller is freed in the forest of the TWO Sisters Imagination. This is physically played out with a variety of words, sounds, foods, household materials, grass, tinsel, paper, paint and puppets in the form of animation within the velvet light trap in my studio. The story is understood only by the act of making it.
Time stitches the three parts together. The viewer is asked to complete the story by watching and listening, a final act of construction. A commitment to the verb of watching is made by entering the melodramatic theatre.