Two black and white images are side by side in a split screen. In the image on the left, we look up towards the ceiling of a big white room with a white column on the left. A woman in dark clothing is leaning over a metal stool. She is on her knees with one arm reaching to the floor and the other arm folded under her chest. The end of a walking stick is visible on the floor to the right. In the image on the right, a woman with short hair and glasses and wearing a dark shirt is lying awkwardly on the top of a metal stool. She has one arm folded under her chest and the other is reaching down. Her head is leaning over the edge of the stool facing down. Her body fills most of the picture frame.

Precarious Gestures

Leena Raudvee

2021, 24:46 minutes, no dialogue, sound

TAPECODE 2143.01

Precarious Gestures is a split-screen black-and-white video. Two cameras record a performance simultaneously. On the left there is a fixed wide-angle view from the floor. On the right a hand-held close-up camera follows me through the space.

This is a video of my daily ritual of allowing myself to fall and then struggling to get up again. The camera is at my back as I walk towards a column and draw a line, a record of my performances of this ritual. The videographer, with a handheld camera, appears briefly in front of me as she records my passage through the space. I walk away from the column, the sound of walking sticks alternating with the sound of my footsteps. I breathe. I turn back towards the camera. With intent, I drop my walking sticks and stand, precariously. Carefully, I lower myself to the floor. My body crashes to the floor. I begin to pull myself forward with my arms, inching towards a stool and my only way up from the floor. Breathing hard, I grab onto the stool, and pull myself up. Slowly, arduously, I push myself up onto the seat. I am finally on the stool. Breathing heavily. I look into the camera.

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