(Loco)motive Series: The HEDDA Videos

Gunilla Josephson

2000, 20:30 minutes, colour


Josephson has created a distillation of womanhood in Hedda, a character both guided by and at the mercy of her emotions. She uses emotion with naïve abandon, ‘as if riding a horse, a locomotive or an ocean wave.’ The Hedda videos are set in a house in Normandy, France, on or around an elegant, well-mannered suite of traditional Swedish furniture. The furniture carries with it the weight of personal memory for the artist, who uses it as a foil for her character’s actions. The green rococo-style furniture functions as a memory-space of endless waiting, anticipation and nervousness, a stage for ritual, for the subversion of domesticity. The artist works effectively inside (as character) and outside (as editor) of the video itself, resisting the conventions of video-making, asserting control.

Hedda appears both refreshingly liberated and worryingly trapped within compulsive repetition. She is a puppet, subject to the whim of the artist. This entrapment of the character suggests a certain melancholy, a metaphor, perhaps, for the artist’s view of her own existence and by extension that of human (woman) kind. Josephson challenges the art-making system – she says: “(I) challenge the accepted conventions of art as an entertainment that is well-behaved. I substantiate my argument by a resistance to the tyranny of orthodoxy, in art and in life.

Note: Two versions available, one with a pink border intended for installation, one without border for screenings. (Loco)motive Series: The HEDDA Videos are to be shown as a series, not as individual parts.

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