~ Filmmaker: Jacqui Malins ~

Wash/Backwash by Jacqui Malins

Featuring a text that alternates between poetry and essay, Wash/Backwash is an intriguing piece by Australian artist Jacqui Malins. The bio on her website describes her as a “cross-disciplinary artist, whose practice incorporates ceramics, poetry and spoken word, performance, video, drawing and photography”. She was also curator of a videopoetry program for the 2021 Poetic City event in Canberra.

Two voices speak the text in a call and answer manner, one giving the poetry and the other conveying theories about perception and feeling. Malins speaks one part and the other is spoken by Abhishek Gupta. The density of the narration led me to watch the video a few times over for better comprehension.

Dissolving shadow images create the sense of just one single image throughout the video. I find the visual concept to be eloquent and touching, suggesting both the singularity and the continual motion of human experience. The screen is in a portrait ratio that works well in focusing our view on the shadow figure. The visual simplicity provides welcome space for the words to take centre stage.

From the video’s summary at Vimeo:

Waves wash across a shadow. The figure softens, sharpens, nearly disappears, snaps back into focus. Is this how emotion feels?

Up-to-date news on Malins’ work in various media can be found here.