28 September 2010


Vienna-based artist, Julia Rochford contributed a film to parataxis entitled 'You get me?'. The work was made in late 2008 in Sydney. Julia shot it on Super 8 and then transferred it to DVD. We exhibited the film very simply, just on a regular television screen with some headphones, through which one could listen to the voice-over of artist Matte Rochford speaking in Spanish about his time living in Santiago de Chile.

The interesting thing about 'You get me?' is that one naturally assumes the subtitles are direct translations of what Matte is saying, yet as the work progresses one realises that in fact the two linguistic forms aren't even synced let alone direct translations. Some of Matte's phrases are much too long for the subtitle that accompanies them, sometimes his voice is incoherent, sometimes he speaks and no subtitle appears - it is veritable lost-in-translation. However, it is simultaneously so very unlost, in fact it reveals to us some of the spaces that can be found when we leave the comfort of known cities and known languages.

Namely, the acknowledgment of one's own subjectivity and the social contingency of all supposed 'knowledge' and understanding. This meditative film exposes the fallacy in assuming objectivity and champions, rather, an intersubjectivity of dislocation and, by extension, of 'location' itself.

Having recently relocated to Austria, I would guess Julia is currently quite aware of the intersections of linguistic and geographic confusions - also their beauty, their indispensability ...


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