Monday, October 15, 2007

Deeparture-Video by Mircea Cantor


When I heard about the video, I could only imagine a deer and wolf together in a room. What could happen? What am I setting myself up to see? All these images of death and carnage raced through my mind. Going in to the watch the video, I was already assuming the worst. But to my surprise, I saw a deer and a wolf coexisting in the room afraid of themselves, each other and what type of environment they were now in. After finishing the video, I found myself wondering which animal was more frightened: the deer, wolf, artist, or viewer. While thinking about this issue I started thinking about the artist in the space while filming the piece. His presence had to bring some tension to the space.

What Cantor does surprisingly well is the camera angles and the method in which the video was shot. The viewer is never left with the sense that the animals are alone in separate rooms. They are together interacting in ways that are accelerated by the use of video. Another thing that Cantor has done is left the video wide open for interpretation. The viewer can place whatever relationships they want on each of the animals. I am sure the artist has his own interpretation and I have my own, which no doubt differ in all degrees. This is what makes the video important: it relies on the viewer to interact, to make a judgment on the animals.

The strongest and most important factor in this work is the concept. The piece allows itself to be whatever the viewer wants it to be. One can place a complete detailed story on the wolf and deer or it can simply be a dialogue of wolf and deer. The beauty in this piece is that it is left up to the viewer to determine the relationships.

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