Elyakim (Peter) Taussig

1990, 25:11 minutes, colour, English


Catatonics is a video opera set in the financial district of Toronto. A stock broker, obsessed with success, encounters a still and stoic woman who regularly sits on a bench outside his office tower. We gradually discover that the woman is catatonic, is his sister, and that her disease revolves around a memory of a tree which he has and her/his father cut down in their childhood garden. The woman never moves or speaks, frozen in her past, yearning for the damp earth, while the man moves compulsively, reaching for the elusive, almost mythical "top" - awaiting him at the end of his life -long elevator ride.
Two severed halfs of one schizophrenic entity, two insanities.

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