Foodland

Foodland
5 min, 8 sec

By Rebecca Garrett
Camera: Patrick Lindsell
Editing: Rebecca Garrett/Elizabeth Schroder
1997

Figures moving in a mysterious, beautiful landscape. It looks like Africa. Elemental, dusky light, fire… What are they doing? Is it some kind of ritual?… The music accentuates the beauty of the scene, but at the same time foreshadows a problematizing of any straightforward reading of the image.

An abrupt formal shift mirrors a psychic reality: a violence of elision, erasure and displacement; a separation of realms of knowledge and experience. What’s getting lost, made invisible here? Is the problem with the medium, the camera person? Or is it the way we read the image here in North America, privileging certain kinds of knowledge and unconsciously erasing others…

This tape is provocative: both accessible to many viewers and demanding. The structure is similar to that of a game that the viewer can enter: the polarized, either/or duality is a question that should have an answer; a problem that should have a solution; an equation that one should be able to solve. But the tape is open ended and destabilizes certainty; induces thinking, and questions; and acknowledges relationships, connections, similarities, without conflating into sameness.

Foodland was shot in Zimbabwe on Hi 8, and edited on Betacam SP at Charles Street Video in Toronto, Canada.