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Michael Curran
1993
6 Mins Colour Video

Disclaimer

A thought-provoking and disturbing work which questions the motivations behind recording another person's image on video.

As the performer is made to carry her speech through several re-takes, she becomes increasingly distressed. The viewer is left wondering what happens when the camera is switched off.

"In the video Disclaimer we see a closely-framed shot of a woman's face. She speaks with a foreign accent and appears to be weeping as she recites the disclaimer of the title:

The characters and events portrayed in this videotape are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to persons known either living or dead is purely coincidental.

There are repeated takes, each time with a slightly different emphasis on the words she is reciting. Sometimes she wipes her eyes. Her tears are clearly visible. In one take we hear Curran say off-camera, 'that's too much'. Is it because she is over-acting, or is he asking her to moderate her all to real excess of emotion? Ambiguity is at the heart of the work. Is she crying because she cannot live up to the director's extracting demands or simply because of the fierce blinding light shining directly in her eyes? One way or another, there is no proof of her identity, only a growing confirmation of the extent to which a persona is constructed; instilled through interaction, reinforced by repetition."

Trish Lyons / Michael Curran
Film & Video Umbrella Minigraphs Series, page 8

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