Collection / Works / Two Chats with Andy by Neil Armstrong

UK, 2011
17 minutes 30 seconds Colour, Sound
BluRay, HD Digital file

Themes / Portraits /
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Andrew Dodds of RAF bomb disposal is interviewed before his tour of duty in Iraq and then a year later after his return, reflecting on his time there.

Originally projected on to facing gallery walls, the video forms part of Neil Armstrong's larger 'Gestalt' project which was first shown at Durham City Art Gallery 2010.

Now a single screen piece, this rigorous reworking of time, develops the concerns and techniques apparent in the Specials Project video. Each sentence and phrase is chosen for its poignancy and then fired onto the screen whilst the 'other' Andy is frozen opposite, waiting to be released in order to reply across time.

The nature of conversation and recall are the subject here, although Andy was also chosen because his profession relates to the overall motif of the Gestalt project, namely that of the explosion. This is used as a photographic metaphor to emphasise the frozen nature of visual imagery, a state that is implied by photography but contradicted by 'real' life as it is never really experienced in that way.

We are invited to consider Andy looking towards the future and, in parallel, him reflecting on the actuality of that future whilst we, the viewer, consider the two Andys from our own perspective.

Interestingly when this was first shown, some viewers didn't realise it was the same person.