Long Goodbye

2007, single channel video projection, colour, silent, 12 min

This video is a study of one movement that is performed by a female protagonist in her 40s, during a sunset observed and registered by a single ultra-slow backward camera movement: the woman comes out of the open front door, steps onto the terrace, looks into the camera, smiles, and waves goodbye. This simple, universal gesture followed by specific key moments of the camera movement becomes charged with a strong narrative content. At the very moment when the woman notices the camera, she looks into it, as if she is looking at the spectator, triggering the camera to start its backward movement. The camera withdraws very slowly as if it were an embarrassed onlooker caught during the act of voyeurism. The video starts with a close to medium frame of the front door, only revealing a small part of the house and its surroundings. As the camera slowly moves backward, the spectator will sense time passing slowly, which is reinforced more strongly by the time of day, when the last rays of sunlight fade into the total darkness of night in the countryside. The more the camera retreats while seeking shelter, the more it reveals the splendour of the house, the terrace, the trees, the darker it gets, thus creating a deep yearning for this beautiful place that will remain out of reach of the beholder as the night falls.

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David Claerbout ©2018