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The Prisoner

Rosalind Nashashibi

UK, 2008
5 minutes, Colour, Sound
Available formats: 16mm

“[The Prisoner] takes its cue from a sequence in Chantal Akerman’s film La Captive (2000) – adapted from Proust – in which Simon follows his lover Ariane up a long stairway and in and out of shadows. The sound of Ariane’s clicking high heels was inserted at the wrong aural distance, disorienting us by sounding close and insistent while the actress is in the background. Our experience of sexual tension and control-obsession is thus heightened.

Nashashibi’s 16mm film installation shows a short sequence in which Anna, a woman in high heels, is being followed. This time the camera itself is the pursuer, a character present but not seen, experienced as if from the viewer’s consciousness. One film print loops through two adjacent projectors, so that the same footage is seen on two screens with only as much lag time as is required for the piece of film to travel between the two projectors. The second projection is silent, its images out of sync, like a ghost haunting the sound in delay – a delay rendered mechanical as the film loops through space. Filmic time, made physically tangible, echoes the narrative time on the screens. Anna is imprisoned both within this closed circuit and in the action itself, where we glimpse her hidden complicity with her follower and internalization of its control.” – Manifesta 7