To Become a Ghost You Need to Have Lived

Heart of Hunger at the 2018 Supermarket Art Fair
It is proposed that the observer is a ghost. A move from camera as singular testifier to passive revenant. There is a special gleam in the room, a reddish pastel spread thin. It’s all over a sad woman and her stare, it is her stare and it fixes upon me, makes me feel out of sorts, sort of unreal. These close-ups on her streaming tears, or on random objects on a desk, a singer’s beard (his voice is beautiful and annoying at the same time) – they are really generating tensions. An attempt at a visual intimacy of the wholly non-intrusive. Someone bumps me, I’m in the way – so I shuffle about; the camera expells and attracts begging eyes.

Generally, a ghost is a true witness and shrieking plaintiff, but in this work the artist is going for another kind of ghoul: one that’s summoned, a compliant listener to the living who are tired of being dead to each other. But to function as a ghost your actually need to have been. This one is daringly attempting to not really be a camera, and in flashes it almost seems to succeed, but even then it never manages to pass to the state of has-been: it never signals anything of its own past-ness. Instead it just reverts continuously from passivity to aggression and back. It either is or isn’t – but never really at the same time.

I bump someone again, my shadow covers the opposing artwork, I move, regain focus. Maybe it’s on me? Maybe I should speed up the frames in my mind-recorder to ridiculous speed, to blur the overlap between dead and alive into a beyond-critical identity. But even that camera couldn’t really die. It just needs so bad to testify. Here in my own little critical disorder, as in the work projected, everything lives or is dead, except perhaps the potency of the ghostly, which is severely destabilized and will probably keep haunting me long after I leave Supermarket.