MOMENT 2 | DEBORAH-JOYCE HOLMAN
A woman is seated on a sofa with a sofisticate design, inside a chic and comfy hotel room with windows overlooking a large city skyline. Every now and then her gaze turns to the room, some other times it rests on the corners of the room. After some minutes her monologue starts and after a while you have the feeling that it is like a possible confession that a patient could make to her analyst: a flow of thoughts and emotions, memories and reflections. The woman is Rebecca Bellantoni, a performer who, in collaboration with the artist Deborah-Joyce Holman, plays in the video artwork entitled Moment 2 (2022).
A lazy cat. I hustle. I’m a stone hole, and I’m not ashamed of it. What I really want to do is what I’m doing now. It is perform. Yeah, there is a lot of material there. And I’ll give you some more of it a little later.
And actually what takes place is a performance: taking up Jason Holliday’s original dialogue recorded by Shirley Clarke in her film Portrait of Jason (1967), Bellantoni creates a loop for nine hours in which the words of the American artist come back and overlap creating a stream of consciousness that concerns the creative act, one’s identity and the comparison of different cultures. The voice that is interspersed with coughs, sighs of tiredness and other movements of the performer, develops into an enigmatic narration that manages to embrace themes such as the creative act, gender identity and the role of the individual in society . Holman, taking up and reinterpreting Clarke’s exemplary project of 1967, finds a renewed adherence with today’s context: Holliday’s words and the new setting (born from the capitalism with minimal architecture, exotic flowers and low-fat snacks) transform into a critique that the artist addresses to the excessive saturation of black trauma which also seems to become a consumer good.
Holman wisely and boldly, through a nine-hour video-performance, offers the observer to immerse himself within the experience of an individual, to make it his own, thus making the narrative power of words explode. Following a practice very close to truth cinema, the English artist takes us back to the word, value and power that the testimony of each of us has: the narration of oneself as a voice of protest and affirmation but also of closeness and sharing. Moment 2 is truly a moment, however 9 hours long, in which to stop and reflect, generating a personal critical thought as an act of resistance and political declaration.
I looked at this beach and smiles and I said: Yeah, there is lots of material. There is lots of material. When you wing a song or you do a bit, it has to be about something. You have to do it from experience, and I’ve been getting experience coming and going.
Moment 2, 2022
Courtesy of the artist, Film still