WATCHING MOVIES WITH CHAD
In 2009 I was invited to be a part of an exhibition that partnered artists with Iraq war veterans.
The organizer of the exhibition paired me with Chad.
After our initial meeting, I became interested in trying to find a middle ground between Chad’s experience of war and my lack-there-of. To my surprise that middle ground was via war movies. For example, I’d seen Movie X and Chad would try to explain to me his experience in Fallujah using examples from Movie X. In our conversations I came to realize that Chad’s way of explaining his experiences via movies epitomized the gulf between relating experience of war to those who have not seen war.
In Watching Movies with Chad, Chad talks about his experience of the Iraq War in response to what we see while we watch war movies together. The work is about empathizing with another’s experience and how little we can really understand about things we have never experienced ourselves. Our back-and-forth commentary exposes wide chasm between explaining one’s own personal experience to another that cannot fathom what has occured.
Watching Movies with Chad, 2010, audio work, 13 minutes 44 seconds.