Double (Platoon/Apocalypse Now/Hambuerger Hll), installation view
Double (Platoon), video still
Double (Platoon/Apocalypse Now/Hamburger Hill)
Three channel video on flat panel LCDs, unsynched, endlessly looped
Building off an earlier single-channel video piece, this three-channel version of "Body
Double" consists of silent moving sequences of a tropical
landscape that fade slowly in and out, interspersed with varying
durations of a completely black screen. The scenes of sky, mountains,
foliage, and rivers are "cropped" in squares and rectangles
that at times take up just small portions of the full screen,
and, occasionally, scenes that take up the complete screen. I
used the three Hollywood films and edited out all the scenes
of battle and dialogue, cropping the frame to focus in on the
peripheral landscapes (if any) in an attempt to "search for
overwhelming majority of Hollywood Vietnam war movies are filmed
in the Philippines, including Platoon, Apocalypse Now, and Hamburger Hill. As a "body
double" for Vietnam, the Philippines occupies a strange place
in the imagination of the American public--a physically "insignificant"
place and also a completely familiar place via its substitution
for Vietnam. This video project ignores the original filmic narrative
to focus on my own attempts at discovering my place of birth--a
kind of reworked "home movie". The resulting videos look
like ambient, minimalist imagery of landscapes and closeups of flora and fauna.
entire running time of the films are the exact running time of the
"original" movie, and the sequencing of images is unchanged.
There is a corresponding pacing
with the original film in that there are cuts and scenery that
build to several climactic chase scenes, further heightening the
feeling of an implied, but missing, filmic narrative.