SAY IT WITH FLOWERS – 2013
In Trinidad we use the term ‘Eat Nice’ to describe someone who remains pleasant when they ought to protest. I contemplate forced composure, as an artist, a national citizen, and as a woman who has internalized abuse.
Flowers are a trope for beauty associated with femininity. They are used to mask unsettling situations. They decorate coffins, mask fake domestic apologies, and they are painted and branded in excess – to represent an island fraught with economic inequity, social crises, and political corruption.
Another local saying is ‘ if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.’ The saying refers to gossip but I refer to the inability to speak about the difficult, the horror, of things that cannot be easily resolved. I refer to the agency that is afforded by artistic process, when fiction and experimentation can give new voice.
‘Say it with flowers’ is a video operating on a purely emotive and visual level to express the feeling associated with forcing oneself to ‘eat nice.’
‘Say It With Flowers’ is a silent experimental video which shows a woman choking on flowers. Viewing only her lips and sides of her face the audience is forced to engage her emotions based on the expressions she conveys through the changing movements of her mouth. From trembling lips, twisted smiles, to poorly hidden scowls, the subject is seen struggling to fixate on an acceptable facial expression. At the video’s end she begins to choke and from her mouth emerges a stem of thorns, rose petals and finally a whole intact rose. She tries to shove it back into her mouth and struggles with the attempts for composure.
As with most of my videos they are better viewed as video installation.