Growing Pains

Cheryl Pagurek

2009, 22:53 minutes, Colour, English


Growing Pains is a two-channel video exploration of simultaneous micro and macro perspectives combining the opposite extremes of intimate recordings of a season of gardening, with contemporary military tracking footage from Iraq. The lushly coloured gardening footage is immersive and sensual while the monochromatic wide-angle military footage marked with viewfinder target crosshairs feels like a symbolic assault. An additional layer of dialogue suggests a negotiation between private and public worlds, as we hear a family navigating the children’s increased independence. This multiplicity of perspectives is presented in two separate but side-by-side video channels thereby accentuating the tensions within the dualities of public/private, microcosm/macrocosm, creation/destruction, hope/fear. Yet, despite these contrasts, a shared concern for control and surveillance plays out across all the layers of the work, from the military to the garden to the familial.

An installation version is available whereby each channel is projected onto its own screen. The video file is played from a laptop and split to two projectors by a Matrox DualHead2Go.

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Critical Writing

Surveillance in Suburbia: High Vaue Targets
by Judith Parker. Afterimage, 2010, v. 37, no. 6.