Sunday, 15 January 2017

Facedances - AUTHENTIC? WOT DAT?

For some time, between 2005 and 2014 I collected Facedances - short video portraits of poeple listening to their favourit music I filmed about a thousand of them, They are stored on a variety of formats -mini DV tape, sd cards, hard disc. I filmed in this country, France, Spain Germany Ireland and the Netherlands. Facedances are short video portraits of people, non-performers, of all ages, listening and dancing with their face to a piece of music they know and love.  They chose their own music. Each video shows the face, the head and shoulders. I gave minimum direction i told them dance with your face to your favourite music. They could interpret that how they liked.
Often when I have shown Facedances, people say things like such and such a person is not being real, when all they are being is a bit self conscious at being filmed by a camera and person very near them- Authentically self conscious . Some people attempt to disguise their self consciousness by performing to the camera, sometimes extrovert people become shy- you cannot tell how people will be. That is great- they are authentically trying to hide their shyness by performing, or vice versa. Its unpredictable. Some people think thats  phony, for me, a self conscious face is as real as a performing face is as real as someone just listening to the music is as real as someone who is does nothing and just looks at the camera.
I don't know what people mean by authentic/ inauthentic, real/false. 
The viewer can choose to judge the Facedancer or simply engage with  what is there- There is no such thing as a dishonest Facedance. If some one chooses in their Facedance to avoid contact with the camera, we, the viewer can see it- we can read that, they are still lovable, we don't know the battles they have had to fight in their life, their braveries, their loves, their laughs, but we can empathise, but we can imagine their stories, their life. Whether they choose to perform for the camera, to have fun, be shy... to try to put on a front is  as much a sign of authenticity as those who choose to just listen to their music and want 'to be natural'.

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