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Ruth Novaczek
Drive she said.

If Novaczek's work is a document of her life it is also a testament to her friendships. She tends to work very closely with the women in her films, each person taking on a character that Ruth explores in different situations, each film exploring different aspects of love, place becoming as much of an emotional space as a geographical point. 'Drive She Said' is an intimate portrait of two women. The journey is an evocative collage of places to the music of Rachid Taha. Novaczeks voice over revolves around the lines "Life is full of roads, and roads never end…., drive she said, just drive, drive to the end of the road and roads that have no end" The lines become another rhythm syncopating the sound track. This mantra pre- empts her later work in many ways; roads become films, images, shapes, feelings, sounds. Nothing is given, each piece becomes a map, an emotional pin point that we are invited to negotiate. Novaczek strives to hold herself within her work, her images are not so much perceived as felt, their caress lingers. In "love thing" the shape of a mouth blends into the shadow of a hill the colour and shape degraded to such an extent the shapes become interchangeable. The glinting of silver rings - passion - a moment passing. The camera seems to feel its way through the images almost like a hand passing through the fabric of a lovers clothing.

As in all of the 1and 2 series the structure of I.4 pivots around one central image. In I.4 it is the inside of an empty New York Tube carriage and the line "I thought this was a love story" We see urban images of New York in stark contrast to the Sinai desert, (where Moses received the commandments), then a cup of coffee, then the camera swirls, revealing abstracted images of tube stations, the face of a woman looking back at us through the crowd 'get me out of here' The voice-over could almost be lines from a John Cassavetes film (he was a seminal influence). Novaczek superimposes the body of a woman , hips gently swaying, her frame silhouetted by her white shirt onto scripture from the Torah. We slowly discern words, "destruction of the temple" but what temple is she referring to? The body, the promised land, the temple in Jerusalem? "These days things are coded in cynicism. shelf lifed, bar coded, lost in translation" The journey has yet to end. The promise of love, meaning - something - still eludes us, nothing is sacred.

Still from Drive She Said by Ruth Novaczek, 1998
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