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Decodings

Michael Wallin

USA, 1988
15 minutes, B&W, sound
Available formats: 16mm

‘Michael Wallin’s Decodings is a profoundly moving, allegorical search for identity from the documents of collective memory, in this case found footage from the 40’s and 50’s…The search for self ends in aching poignancy with still of a boy and his mother at the kitchen table, catching the moment the marks the dawning of anguish and loss, desire becomes imprinted on that which was long ago.’ – Manohla Dargis, The Village Voice.

‘Decodings is a magical, seamless work that manages to beguile even as it probes areas tender to touch. Its tale is beautifully told…’ – Patrick Hoctel, San Francisco Weekly.

‘Explodes with Bunuel’s sensuousness and a Hitchcockian narrative irony…’ – Doug Sadownick, Los Angeles Weekly.
‘Wallin’s achievement in Decodings is to create a powerfully inventive work that conveys with dramatic intensity strong feelings of remembrance and loss from images that have been extracted from the culture…Wallin has succeeded in creating from various film sources a work that emphasizes the fragility and ultimate vulnerability of human expression and relationships.’ – John.G. Hanhardt, 1989 Whitney Museum Biennial Catalog.

Themes