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Forgiving Richard Serra

Experimental Film

I filmed myself in a standard interview attire and format. It reads plain, but the process is complex and layered, starting with an object – the unpublished error-ridden transcript of an interview with Richard Serra done in Pittsburgh in 1985 after he had installed his large outdoor piece Carnegie. I edited out the interview questions, and with the camera running, I read Serra’s portion of the transcript aloud until I could do so seamlessly, trying to possess each word as my own, even those which had been mistyped by an invisible third party.

The process of inhabiting his (often mistyped) words with my voice and body is a different take on the phenomenological inhabiting of space that his work aims for. It is meant to be shamanistic (“The Question” refers not only to the process but to a comic superhero who is a faceless shaman figure); and “forgiving” not necessarily in the sense of excusing wrongdoing but of extending human sympathy beyond the limits of our own minds/bodies.

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