A few years ago Els Opsomer went to Palestine. There she shot the first of her three ‘_imovies_’ with the Apple software she uses to edit her photo-based digital videos. These films are video letters expressing feelings of estrangement, and they give evidence of the difference between the world as it is experienced and the objective world ‘out there’. Opsomer’s ‘_imovies_’ also interpret the effects of globalisation on individuals. The third video letter makes use of photographs from Senegal. As with previous editions of ‘_imovies_’, it focuses on the wide gap between the world at hand and the one far away, between private life and public obligations and regulations. The camera zooms in on photographs; at the bottom of the screen a long prose poem – a love letter – is presented in subtitles. ‘_imovie_ [3]_ silver lips / for me’ is a video love letter which ponders ‘pictures’ and the distance between north and south.
From the very beginning we hear sounds: first birds, then distant traffic followed by the sound of flowing water (the sound piece ‘Aanori’ Water by Phill Niblock), which lasts until the end. The images seem to dislocate and point to what is ‘not’ here – Senegal, the loved one – and to underscore all possible differences: tangible and intangible; body and picture; representation and imagination; presence and absence; the world in pictures and the one conjured by language; between a person as unique being and the same person as social construct: black. But the soundscape seems to keep it all together: pictures, letter, representation, world.
An important part of the film revolves around the body of the loved one, waiting in a distant land for documents needed to travel ‘over here’ – a distance, a longing, too enormous to be fulfilled. Irony: a common, standardized, commercial thing – video editing software – creates the most specific, idiosyncratic, emotion-fuelled communiqué: a love letter, for all to see. And the commonest, most standardized document – an official ID card – may make or break the most exceptional, cherished, singular experiences: a love relation.

“Solely white paper
signed by those who don’t know you
will help
to get your silver lips kissing me again” (Steve Tallon)

This work has been digitised in the frame of DCA Project

  • Format miniDV(miniDV)
  • Color system PAL
  • Color col.
  • Year 2006
  • Duration 00:12:16
  • Languageinfo
    Subtitled running text/titles: English UK
  • Artists