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Eyelashes (1996)

Video projection

Format : 4:3

6 mins duration

He was having difficulty with a woman
'It's her eyelashes', he said.
They defy his imagination. 
When he tries to picture her he can't figure out how long they are-
whether she grew them herself 
or if she bought them in some unknown place
where they were sold like rare and sleeping creatures. 
He can't decide if they are so completely ordinary 
that he should ignore them and continue on
with the rest of the story
or so absolutely extraordinary 
that it is impossible to continue
without carefully considering each lash
as if it is a small but intricate instruction
in an extremely complicated and important experiment. 
He thinks the instructions involve themselves
with a million tiny movements
that slowly lead the experimenter
to something obscure but beautiful.
'Maybe', he says, 'when it is finally finished,
it will look a bit like a wink'. 
'At other times', he says,
'...those eyelashes just hang around her eyes',
in such an anonymous, casual kind of way,
that it makes him uneasy.
They bunch together like a small,
carefully constructed crowd scene
that has two or three spies concealed within it.
Every now and then one falls out.
It always looks like an accident. 
After a while it becomes clear
that those eyelashes  are holding his imagination hostage.
The rest of the story is gone.
He doesn't know it yet,
but it might not be coming back. 
-Jaki Irvine    (Anke Dessin: voiceover) 


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