Years ago, before I began making art, I remember being shocked by a famous woman nutritionist who said (I paraphrase):
When we smell something, the molecules of what we smell have gotten inside us.
I remember sucking in my breath, staring out a window, and thinking, “Isn’t she saying that we are an intimate part of the grass we smell, the bread baking in the oven, the smell of lilacs in the spring?” It sounded magical to me. I wanted to be part of it.
My film, Absence of a Hole, begins…
He had to admit that on certain occasions in his own life he had loved an ocean wave or the sight of a particular toaster so intensely that he wanted to squash it into his own body. In mid empty air, to put his hands and arms around things and objects and push them into his chest and legs and into his face. In the privacy of his own room to pack them tightly, minutely into his body’s pores, and then to emerge in the everyday street and see the world again out of his whole body through rock and toaster and ocean.
In my digital photo, Man Watching Birds on Television, a man focuses intensely on a TV show about birds. With exception of the light from the TV set, the room is pitch black. The man sits alone. Birds fill his vision. Birds in magical flight, birds circling in the air, alone, together, ascending into clouds, then diving. Over and over the man sees nothing but the folding and unfolding of wings, their play, carefree, unleashed; the holy ritual of birds.
He leans close to the TV.
The screen fills his eyes and the bird inside him blossoms.