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Is there anyway out of this dream? (A lament on growing up)

“It’s right from my heart. The film on paranoia is something I experience every day. I remember I refused to go (to a certain store) because I was afraid my child would be stolen from me. I was paranoid.”

Where artists have used the theme of paranoia as a key facet within contemporary post-war art history, both it and the evolution of film and video as a popular art form have grown together. Utilising established filmic techniques, suspense and the uncanny are able to envelop the viewer, allowing the filmmaker to invite the viewer to share a particular mindset or mental frame.

“I thought about going to a shrink, but I found I was able (to work out my problems) by making films. And they were about such a universal subject that they had broad appeal.”

These films are, in one aspect, first-person narratives. We watch the subjects, these children, from afar and up-close. We fear for them, and we have a fear of them. The instability that a child immediately brings to your world is alienating, it forces a person to retreat, but everyone experiences different elements of the same (idiosyncratic) feeling.

“I have always believed it is an artists’ responsibility to make people think. I want my work to be clever enough to take you somewhere else, beyond where you think you have gone.”

(On her children)
“I try to include them in a positive way. I might plan something fun for them, then film it. I never force them.”

Children and art should, in theory, be very comfortable bedfellows, sharing as they do the innate desire for the sensuous and ethereal. In Marshall’s work, this sensual materiality is provided alongside the horror of any perceived accidental inversion, and the consequent anxieties that develop.

When the child was a child,
It was the time for these questions:
Why am I me, and why not you?
Why am I here, and why not there?
When did time begin, and where does space end?
Is life under the sun not just a dream?
Is what I see and hear and smell
not just an illusion of a world before the world?
Given the facts of evil and people.
does evil really exist?
How can it be that I, who I am,
didn’t exist before I came to be,
and that, someday, I, who I am,
will no longer be who I am?

It had visualized a clear image of Paradise,
and now can at most guess,
could not conceive of nothingness,
and shudders today at the thought

(excerpt from Lied Vom Kindsein by Peter Handke, translated from the German) is delighted to present One from the heart, by Maria Marshall.