Discussing matter in class lead us to the topic of the keyhole as a portal to the alternating role of viewer and viewed. While lying in bed that evening trying to fall asleep I could hear raised voices next door, the new couple that just moved in. I decided to put my ear to the wall and have a listen. I was surprised by how much I felt sucked into the room. I was immediately engulfed in a bubble of sound, though slightly muffled. I became the witness of an intense and abusive interaction. I was interested by the interdependence of the two people and the blurred lines between the abuser and the abused. I have become fascinated of late by a principal of transformation where one thing becomes its inverse; the abused and the abuser, each feeding into the other creating a cyclical cycle. I was also interested in the physicality of being at once in my dark lit bedroom in brixton, the charged fully lit room next door (which i could hear but not see), and a memory of myself in northern ontario having my shoulder shaken and words shouted in my face as i stood sobbing half trying to escape.
Screen Play: Listening at the Wall
Woman: DON’T TOUCH MY BELONGINGS I SAID DON’T TOUCH MY BELONGINGS.
Man: muffled speech
Woman: (more desperate and repeated) DON’T TOUCH MY BELONGINGS
Man: well you can leave
You: in the dark you run to get a note book and pen
Man: Again Anna? Again? Again?
sound of a thump or a bang… is that the bed spring squeaking?
Woman: I’m in shock, you just hit me in the face. Its not just physically… mentally your really fucked up
Man: (maintaining the same even monotone, assertive and with a german accent) No Anna there is something seriously wrong with you.
Woman: struggles to argue her point like a trapped animal.
You: Remember how you couldn’t explain it, couldn’t make him see the emotional manipulation. even now you are not sure exactly how or what happened. Above all he was always right and you were always struggling to know what was real.
Man: I abuse you? You abuse me. Many times Anna. Every time your drunk.
Woman: (high voice, hurt, full of need) Thats because you went away.
Man: You are the one scratching and biting
Woman: (deep voice venomous) Yeah well you can call the police.
Man: You are telling everyone I’m abusing you.. trying to embarrass me in public! You are the one biting and scratching. You broke up with me, three times Anna.
two days later you see the Man with a scratch on his cheek taking a bottle of wine from the mini fridge in the kitchen. He makes casual conversation about the upcoming weekend. Days later you still haven’t seen the Woman