THE FOLLOWING

Digital Video, 2011

 

This work is part of The Archive Series.

The Following is about the retracing of past events both metaphorically and literally.

One day, after my father returned from a FBI photography and video surveillance course, he was practicing his new skills from the balcony of his apartment, filming a tightrope walker crossing a wire. The man he captured on film was Rick Wallenda. Rick Wallenda is the son of Karl Wallenda. Karl Wallenda established the family of circus performers The Flying Wallendas.

On March 22, 1978 Karl Wallenda, at the age of seventy-three, was crossing a tightrope strung between two condominiums in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Midway through his walk the wire swayed and bucked and he fell to the ground one hundred and twenty-one feet below.

When my father filmed Rick Wallenda he was retracing the same fatal tightrope walk that his father left uncompleted. The video’s vertigo imagery and simple narrative highlight the strange act of retracing the steps of those who have gone before us.

 

The Following, 2011, digital video NTSC, 3 minutes, 27 seconds.

 

Digital prints of video stills:

 

The Following No. 2, 43 x 108 cm.

The Following No. 2, 43 x 108 cm.

 

 

virginia-colwell-following-still-1

The Following No.3, 43 x 108 cm.

 

 

The Following No. 4, 43 x 108 cm.

The Following No. 4, 43 x 108 cm.

 

The Following No. 5, 43 x 108 cm.

The Following No. 5, 43 x 108 cm.

The Following No. 6, 43 x 108 cm.

The Following No. 6, 43 x 108 cm.

The Following No. 7, 43 x 108 cm.

The Following No. 7, 43 x 108 cm.