Sean Grattan

Celebration Day (2010)

23 min 3 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Sound

"A man and a woman are sitting together in a restaurant. The conversation is strained, each character speaking one sentence at a time in a manner that recalls the worst moments in a life that is tired and unmotivated. Sparks of joy still exist between the couple but they are short lived, quickly falling prey to an ugly display of victim/punisher power dynamics; the man and woman are terrible stereotypes of their respective genders. The synthetic nature of the script and performance highlights the absurdity of their communication, and the oppressive conventions that govern their behavior.

The video employs a loose narrative structure that repeats, or seems to repeat itself several times. When seen in the original 2-channel installation format, the looped, never-ending sequence of similar but different scenes speaks to the dreadful limbo of the characters’ relationship, the middle part where resolution does not seem possible. The conversation at the dinner table is juxtaposed with a series of establishing shots rendered as close-ups that show various commercial and public uses of water in the environment outside. The images of water installations disturb the narrative repetition, alluding to a fantasy of aspiration, a meditative backdrop to life in the suburbs."

Artist's statement

Other works by Sean Grattan

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