What I rely on is a trilogy of screendance works made between 2010 and 2013 that balance the pleasure of the apparent immediacy of film with the anxieties that can underlie the act of digital preservation. They look at the way people deal with uncertainty and transience in their lives, and were made as a response to the loss of the artist’s first baby.
The first work, Things that start slowly (9m36s), is a triptych shot over two years. The central image of a feeding baby is contained on either side by images of women, first in early pregnancy and then later at full-term. Over the images, someone is heard talking about the relative lengths of time that different phenomena last.
The second film was shot entirely on one day, the day when Macdonald thought she might be pregnant again. Snow film (4m25s) offers a moment of stillness on a bright morning with snow on the ground before the artist knew whether she was pregnant or not, thus beginning and a new and relentless narrative.
For the final film of the trilogy, seven people were invited to try and catch leaves falling from trees. It is impossible to predict when leaves will fall, but equally hard not to believe that, if you just wait long enough or look attentively enough, you won’t eventually get one. Footage of the event was used to make I will not hope (7m8s), a film that embraces both the anxiety and joy of transience.
About the Artist
Anna Macdonald’s work spans site specific performance, installation, and screen-based practice. She brings a choreographic sense of spatial dynamic to visual media, focusing on the way movement patterns convey something of our lived experience in a non-literal, yet direct way. Anna has shown her works at VideodanzBA (Argentina), Danscamdanse (Belgium), Miden Video art Festival (Greece) and being nominated for the International Video Dance awards (Barcelona). What I Rely On was featured in the on-line videoart journal, VIDEOFOCUS Stigmart10 review.
Alongside her freelance practice, Anna is a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary arts at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Articles about her recent screen work can be found in Body, Site Technology Journal, Vol 11:2 and Choreographic Practises Journal Vol 4:2.