A Measure of Remorse (2009)
single channel video installation
color with sound
HD video 10:00 minutes
This project was provoked by the life of writer Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking (1998), which brought intense and overdue attention to the Japanese military atrocities committed against the Chinese in WW II. Exploring historical violence and the nature of apology through language, the body, desire, and trauma, the video re-imagines a confrontation on PBS in 1998 between Chang, the Japanese ambassador to the U.S., and journalist Elizabeth Farnsworth. The video is not a re-enactment of the past, but rather a kind of future made dark and deeply sensual, almost as an effect of Chang’s suicide in 2004. It raises questions about the effect of performative utterances - like an apology - when it comes to historical violence. The three figures acknowledge hurt, even death, and ask us about the claims our memories and voices can make against the past.
installation view at Art in General