BISFF Correspondence 通信计划
为了跨越种种障碍，开辟更多交流空间，我们设置了“BISFF Correspondence 通信计划”，对部分国际单元的参展作者进行系列访谈，这些访谈将在作品放映后发布在联展各个媒体平台。
A Body Is A Body Is A Body｜身体是身体是身体
Cat McClay, Éiméar McClay
Directors导演：Cat McClay，Éiméar McClay
Q：In this work, you use the body, a concrete carrier (perhaps not passive? ), to present the conflict between religion and queer nature in individuals. Where did your inspiration come from? How did you conceive your works on this basis?
A：Whilst making this work, we were interested in exploring the historically fraught relationship between queerness and the Catholic church in Ireland. Growing up queer in a rural, majority-Catholic community in Ireland inspired us to regard the queer body as a site of resistance against the imposition of heteronormativity. Through making work about sexuality, we were interested in exploring the feminist idea of the personal as political; how private, bodily experiences can actively resist oppressive political structures.
Q：In an interview referring to the way you two work together, you mentioned “we support and encourage each other in a relationship that rejects individualism”. Could you expand on your collaborative way of working? How to understand your words that your practice is informed by the reclamation of witchcraft by women as a space for community, collaboration and empowerment?
A：Our collaborative practice is foregrounded by research, which we develop in conversation with each other. Regarding the relation of our practice to witchcraft, we are interested in the reclamation of magic as a tool of empowerment. We are particularly interested in the anti-capitalist symbolism associated with its ability to reduce labour and increase the amount of time available for the exploration of personal ideas and desires. Historically, accusations of witchcraft were used as a tool of female persecution. Considering this, the reclamation of these kinds of magical practices can be mobilised in useful ways as a subversion of the oppression of female and non-binary people under patriarchal hegemony. By working collaboratively, we each sacrifice a level of personal authorship over our work. This approach allows us to gain empowerment through sharing ideas, rather than individual achievements. Working in this way rejects capitalist individualism.
Q：I remember a line in the film is “I am fourteen. I believe in God”, and the other line is “I didn’t think about religion until it became a violence”. Your text shows many changes, such as from the body of a twin to the body of a lover, from piety to resistance. How to understand these changes?
A：The narrative of the film is based on a piece of autotheoretical prose, which reflects on the experience of growing up queer in Ireland from an adult perspective. From this vantage point, the text both embodies and contextualises past fear and piety, allowing it to be understood with greater nuance. Through reflecting on shame, we aim to look critically at the biopolitical forces that engender it.
Q：Burning flames, flowing water, and chirp from the distant space…the sound in the film also has a strong narrative function, while your words are presented in the silent way of subtitles. How did you design the sound of this film?
A：The audio in the film consists primarily of ordinary ambient sounds mixed with sounds related to extreme weather. Although the text in the subtitles describes a visceral bodily experience, the body is purposefully omitted from the visual element of the film. The equivocation of the identity of the speaker in the text through the absence of characters or human figures in the accompanying animation is reinforced by the omission of a voiceover to narrate the subtitles communicating the text. As the script explores desire and memory associated with an absent partner, we wanted to create a sense of absence in both the animation and sound design of the film. We were also interested in equivocating the identity of the speaker in the film, as we wanted to reinforce ideas regarding the transgression of specific binary forms and frameworks in queer sex and relationships.
Q：This film is very beautiful, full of poetry in both artistic expression and emotion. Do you have any regrets about this finished work? What’s your next film plan?
A：Reflecting on our past work helps us to develop and improve our collaborative practice, which encourages us not to regret anything we have made. Regarding our plans for future films, recently, our moving-image practice has focused on the corrupt network of social institutions — Magdalene Laundries, mother and baby homes, etc. — run by the Catholic church in Ireland across the 20th century. This research has aided our understanding of contemporary Irish society and identity, particularly regarding the political influence of the Catholic church in Ireland since the formation of the post-colonial Free State. To expand on this project, our next film will investigate contemporary and historical Irish mental health institutions and the sociopolitical and economic factors that influenced their development. Over the coming months, with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland and CCA Glasgow, we will visit local archives in Ireland to gather information regarding the operations of St. Conal’s Hospital, Letterkenny during the mid-20th century. Using patient case files, we aim to advocate for a bottom-up form of historiography, which platforms those who have been historically disempowered rather than the institutions or biopolitical forces that have contributed to their marginalisation.