Artist Statement:

“Society teaches us to represent our lives to ourselves within the framework of a coherent narrative, but beneath that conditioning we feel our lives as a series of multidirectional impulses and collisions. We’re trained to see our lives as a series of projects, one following the next along the road of experience, and our ‘success’ depends upon how well we progress from project to project.”

—Richard Foreman, Unbalancing Acts

The primary tension in Iris Pupil’s experiences seem to stem from her own “series of multidirectional impulses and collisions.” The performances in the video are staged interactions which are set up in the public realm to isolate and exaggerate any subtle discrepancies Iris’s character might have. These exchanges are then repeated, processed, and sometimes printed -- an attempt to reference the inner world of Iris, and to stress the ambiguity between her reality and her fantasy. The clash that happens when Iris interacts with the non-actors in everyday situations is paralleled with non-everyday images of her in her solitary, existential dilemmas. The likelihood of Iris “really” existing as a “real” person is removed to stress the obscurity of her character so that specific elements of human experience can be magnified. The anxieties, tensions and struggles having to do with mis/communication, mis/interpretation, isolation, distance, fragmentation, paranoia and confusion are the main ingredients of concern. She is a character who is incomplete, or rather, feels incomplete. She is fragmented structurally -- emotionally and psychologically. Her persona is reflected in the fragmented construction of the videos. Dis-connection is represented by her wig which she can’t seem to keep on, and also by the repetition of facts which she will never understand. She is stuck in a printed image like she is eternally stuck with an unfulfilled desire -- to be “IN the movie.”

The sequence in which events occur is not linear. Problems are never resolved, just transformed. When situations arise, they are usually just extensions of past problems; a continuation of a process of denial and acceptance. The rhythm of revealment is like a recurring dream: awareness arises, attention is mis-directed, action is mis-guided, and perpetually aimed at the wrong target. She is accidentally living on the outside. Accidentally, on purpose.

Foreman writes:
“...traveling this narrow road (of linearity) shuts out a multitude of suggestive impulses and impressions--the ephemeral things that feed our creative insight and spiritual energy. It’s as if we wwere wearing blinders to restrict our emotional field, making us spiritually and physically uneasy with the normal ambiguity of our everyday experience. So we compensate. We make self-righteous demands that noncontradiction by the basis for our value systems, but that inevitably means the suppression of all sensory richness. It reinforces our denial of the ambiguity inherent in life, which, when suppressed, makes the world seem rigid and frightening.”

To Iris, the world is rigid and frightening. She deliberately makes “contradiction” the basis of her value system. She is always out of context.