5 days in 5 minutes
multiscreen video installation
Length: 5 minutes
This experimental short film tells the story of me inhabiting half of a lift to study and work for one week. During this period, I encountered a strange man wearing a monster mask who suddenly broke in, artists who carried works of art taller than people, security guards who looked at the camera with the same expression every day, and an unexpected elevator failure maintenance…all the events of the 5 days were recorded by a micro camera installed in the corner, edited into a five-minute short film, and displayed in a multi-screen manner.
This is my first experimental short film independently planned, acted and edited by using unconventional shooting techniques. The original inspiration came from the first national lockdown in 2020. At that time, I was a graduate student in London, and I took online classes every day in a small student apartment. The long prison-like days without sunshine made me think of conducting a performance in a lift. After submitting my application to the school, I entered a long approval process, during which the plan was aborted. Finally, in March of 2022, my application was approved. So I took my laptop, Kindle, mobile phone and water and started my performance.
One unexpected thing is that, probably for the sake of power saving, this lift will automatically turn off the light if it does not run for more than 1 minute, and the whole space will fall into darkness. Only when someone presses the lift button to from the outside will the light be turned on again. That is to say, my ascent or descent trapped in the dark is completely controlled by unknown others, which is a very unique experience. I have no idea who will suddenly break into my private space in the next second. This fear of being dominated by invisible others has subtly bred a strange pleasure, even a hint of budding sexual desire. I happen to be reading Foucault's The History of Sexuality
. In the third volume, Foucault wrote that "except for the monarch himself, all people exercise their rights within a grid... People are always rulers and ruled in some way." Through this short film on behavior, I am also thinking about the boundaries between individuals and others, between the public sphere and the private sphere, and the relationship between sex and surveillance.