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Michael Curran
8 Mins Colour Video


Perhaps one of Curran's most overtly confronting pieces, he appears before the camera and begins to masturbate until orgasm.

As he proceeds a voice-over lists an inventory of drawings and their titles. It's as if the act taking place is being reframed by each successive title to create a series of death masks.

"In Portfolio we are confronted with an image of Curran's face seen upside down and framed by the v-shape spread of his legs. Apart from shoes and a shirt he is naked. His hair is shorn, emphasising the shape of his head. The video is one continous take, which lasts as long as it takes him to masturbate. As he approaches climax his face becomes increasingly red and his expression is strained. He blinks and squints. The voice-over lists a series of drawings, giving the title and the medium. The drawings are taken from an exhibition curated by Jacques Derrida entitled Memoirs of the Blind

Study of the Blind
Christ Healing a Blind Man
The Error
Truth Unveiled By Time
The Senses
Self Portrait
With Closed Eyes
Head of a Dying Man
Head of Medusa
Severed Head
Head Study etc.

The composition is such that it does not focus on the act of masturbation (the repeated practice of which it is said will make us go blind), but rather on the large, inverted, red and straining head emerging out of a pair of legs, which suggests we are watching a birth; a birth that doubles as a little death."

Trish Lyons, Michael Curran Film & Video Umbrella Minigraphs Series, page12

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