What I’m trying to say
WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY is a short experimental video and a video performance. The main topic of this work is the artists personal experience of sexual assault.
In the video you only see a close-up of my face. You can see my lips moving but there is no sound to what I am describing, my words are muted. Text appearing on the screen is crucial to the slow and painful revelation of the content of my story. The subtitles are numbered and they serve as a form of unfinished script or script in development. This way of dealing with the text is connected to the fact that I am unsure to what I am remembering and I see my memory as an unreliable source of information. Throughout the video, I am constantly questioning the event itself. Not only that, I am questioning both my own behaviour as well as the behaviour of the person I was with at the time of the assault.
While I am speaking about this night, I am peeling the onions. The peeling is not shown in the video, you get a sense of it by my movements and occasional sounds. The pealing of onions portrays something domestic and safe, the work of hands that is typical for a woman to be doing in her kitchen and in her home while cooking. I was hoping that by doing so I would start to cry as I did not have any tears for what has happened to me.
This work deals with, not only questions of why and how something like this could have happened to me, but it also tries to set personal boundaries of not happening again. For me personally the work heals a wound in my body that I haven’t addressed in many years and which I subconsciously buried deep down inside me. So deep that it seemed unreal.
video frame (c) Sanja Lasić