Self = Portraits…part six

Initially I wanted to make these films to satirize the amorphous landscape in which I was residing at the time, right before I made the sojourn to Europe. I thought that when I returned to the USA I would finish this project with a final destination piece but it seems as thought the journey will continue indefinitely. Here’s the last bunch of films from Berlin.

Self = Portraits…part one
Self = Portraits…part two
Self = Portraits…part three
Self = Portraits…part four
Self = Portraits…part five

57. Voice

The original filming included audio in which I was reading a letter that I wrote to a lover of mine who was involved in a polyamorous relationship. At this time (Winter 2013) I was in and out of hiding due to the effects of a serial stalker who was delving into a harrowing amount of constant abuse. Because social media is such an important part of my art, I had lost my voice. I started writing letters and postcards more often as a vehicle for my vice, but more and more I realized that I had to realize how to fight against the perpetrator’s offenses as his goal was to keep me silent. The lover of mine I wrote the letter to was an “action speaks louder than words” kind of guy, and I was addressing the complications of this issue – me being a writer and all.

 

58. Regret 1

Many people tend to try and convince themselves that they are able to live without regret. This is not a belief of mine. My biggest and continuing regret in life is that I never studied the piano with great discipline. I’ve never had the time or money to commit to it fully and though I can play by ear (the guitar as well) I am severely math-phobic and have not been able to tackle reading music. These thoughts of regrets were due mostly in part to the fact that I was realizing a lot of life deteriorating around me, as is commonplace in Berlin. I was staying with a friend who had a piano and I would try to regurgitate what I’ve learned in the past.

 

59. Regret 2

Being an artist in Berlin is great. You get to do whatever you want and nobody cares that you don’t make any money. I was an athlete growing up. Before I found Shakespeare and ballet I was playing basketball, soccer, tennis, and I was very good at track; so much so that I was poised to become an olympian on account of my record breaking tendencies. I loved gymnastics but I didn’t have the upper body strength to endure the rigorous events the likes of the pommel horse and rings (the parallel bars, floor and funny enough, the balance beam were my best events). Every so often I wonder what my life would be like if I stayed on the playing field rather than going with art.

 

60.  Temptation

Fruit, cages, contemporary striptease, blindfolds, stuffing of underwear: all indicative of typical DeVo satire. Needless to say, the soundtrack provides a pretty clear statement as to what was going on with me. I was surrounded by trouble, that big red button, and blindly I found myself with not many other choices. I contacted my mother around this time in a sheer act of desperation and only managed to get a rise out of her, not much of else except more tumult to add to the fire.

 

61. id

For an undisclosed amount of time I was traveling from place to place in order to avoid and/or prevent any contact with the aforementioned stalker who by this time was finding a new way to try to contact me about once every two weeks. I had to walk past this “RUN” graffiti every time I sought out this particular asylum. Seeing it all the time was laughable and painful altogether. There was a big lull in my filmmaking due to having to stay under the radar and I had dropped my iPhone in a bucket of water during one of my many indentured servant interludes. I had acquired a “company phone” for a dance performance I was casted in that had lost its funding and didn’t go into production. I was in fact fighting with my id much more than my ego at the time. I really wanted to stay in Berlin and maybe, possibly find love but…

 

62. Free

Once I accepted everything at face value, I felt free. I had struggled to make sense of the fantasy world that many Berliners and Berlin tourists were obsessed with. I had grown tired of the novelty of it all, but its persistence would go on despite my attitude towards wanting something more realistic in my world. I was waking up in the middle of the morning to the sounds of BDSM slaves being beaten and fornicated with. I figured if you can’t beat them, join them.

 

63. Grey

I had been eying this particular location for awhile. Located in one of the quieter parts of Schöneberg on the edge of Kreuzberg, this area was undergoing some heavy development and the imposing ways of gentrification were vivid in this neighborhood. Change was coming once again, bringing in the new and pushing out the old. I have always been a fan of the color grey and this park kind of exemplified the cold, dark angular paleness of East Berlin melded with the colorful and spritely aspects of the west. Naturally, the climbing, climbing, climbing theme returned to my work – that constant struggle that I find myself in and/or put myself in. This is also when Vimeo changed its policy on intellectual property rights for music, so it was a dreary day for me to find out that I would have to be more careful about my music choices. I hate the sound of my voice but the sentiment was fitting.

 

64. Space

Once again I had mustered to find my feet and I was going to make the confirmation to stay in Berlin. Though I was fighting with the urge to run away or to establish myself despite the decline in opportunities for financial sustenance – I figured out that I could make it once I had my own place after over a year of couch surfing and bed hopping and sleeping on park benches and other places that did not at all resemble any sort of home. My friend had an extra room and if I could muster up enough negligible cash, it was mine. Turns out, there was much more than meets the eye with the indecent proposal that ensued.

 

65.  I was on a crusade. I had been to over 5 organizations (including the police, the district attorney, a domestic abuse outreach program) over the span of 2 years to try and get help. After a lot of run around, arguing, doors slammed in my face, empty promises, lost paperwork, and general lack of sympathy – I decided to use my greatest weapon of satire and I wore this Tshirt to the family court on the third attempt to get a restraining order against my assailant. They didn’t find it as funny as I did, and you can see the perpetrator’s reaction as clearly noted by is response in the comments section. The audio in the film is from one of his many dastardly outbursts of insanity.

 

 

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