The video installation . . . before I wake, 2001-2012, has three elements: We’re Getting Younger All the Time, 2001, and Practicing Death, 2003, are shown on television monitors, while Entranced, 2012, is centrally projected.
We’re Getting Younger All the Time is a double self-portrait: ten minutes recorded each hour over a twelve-hour day and played at super-high speed in reverse. Time retreats before us, marked on these two bodies. The three-minute loop Practicing Death shows two sleeping faces in filtered black and white, with a fragmented, musing text overlay.
Entranced was shot during hypnosis sessions, where Steele and Tomczak – separately – were guided through an imagined, oddly familiar space, alone. Their projected, shadowy figures alternate, providing the hypnotist with at times barely discernible answers, rendered as subtitle. Entranced provides a long-sought resolution to the fears touched on in We’re Getting Younger… and Practicing Death, and gives a release at last from an earlier period of ill-health when looking forward could only be frightening and painful.
Though the installation . . . before I wake is exploratory and intensely thoughtful, its inevitable subtext considers an empty future, devoid of loved ones and of present joy. The first part of the installation title would be, of course, “If I should die . . .“