Loss 6.5 - lies... (2013)

Loss 6.5 – Lies…

Loss 6.5 is the penultimate section of Loss 6. She is perhaps more broken than before. It is the story a descent, I am just not sure what into. Whilst the piece is called ‘Lies…’what drives it forward is the cascading sense of improvisation and being entirely out of control.

The film was shot in New York, London, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Hamburg over a 4 year period, with the majority of sequences shot as improvised video pieces, not particularly for this project or for Loss 6.5.

The music features an amazing improvised violin section by a great artist I met on Fiverr, Hannah K Watson. Check her work out here. She has a website located right here. The music started as free-form improvisation using a violin bow on the guitar, of which a small section remains in the darker, fractured undercarriage of the second movement. Hannah’s violin line sets up the whole tone of the work. Let her know if you like it.

And as with all the pieces so far, the voice was provided by Lynx. There are two versions of this pieces Version 1 is called ‘Lies…’ and version 2 is called ‘lies… (le menteur)’. Version 1 was Lynx’s first improvised take and Version 2 is the final take (with a slightly different script). I love both interpretations, so you download them from Soundcloud and make up your own mind which version works for you. It is version 1 that appears in the video. For me, I loved the improvised feel of it as it worked with the improvised violin and music so incredibly well.

I know this is the conversation of the drunk. The lust of the cock and the tingle of the cunt are never far away from the bar. Bloodshot eyes meet, grubby hands wipe through my hair as a smallish but acceptable bulge pushes open the button of a pair of safe and conservative 501s. My lust takes over. Could I find any other ways of hurting myself? The ribbons weren’t doing any damage, nor were they holding things together. They didn’t deaden the pain, they exposed it.

I found the smell of him overpowering; it was the stink of cheap leather and wet wool. He was drinking a pint of dark coloured beer, the foamy white head spilling over the edge of the glass onto the wooden bar top. He talked about nothing in particular, his job maybe. Perhaps about how attractive I was. I find it difficult to remember any details. I didn’t care; I was focused on getting fucked. I suspect he asked the standard questions and I assume I gave him the standard answers, each time offering him another flashed exposure of my baby browns.

We shared nothing and exchanged even less. I downed three glasses quickly. He bought another one readily. He might have sold carpet tiles, or was it engine parts? Maybe he couldn’t believe in his luck, or maybe mine was running out. I should have listened to the warning signs and ran out into the night.

Of course, my agenda was already there. We had agreed to meet at 9pm, one last time. I was not sure if it was to work things out or to work them over. It didn’t matter. He called me. I said yes far too quickly, suggesting this bar because it was near to my hotel. He was sitting at the back, under the jukebox which was silent and dark. 8.30, yet he had been there since before I’d arrived.

The man into engine tiles saw the game was up when he walked over, kissed me on the cheek and sat down. So he went over to the jukebox and dropped some coins into it. Each travelled straight through to the return slot. Dark and silent it remained. The place itself was quiet even for a Monday night. Small groups of conservatively dressed bankers drank light beer sullenly, as if to tick the last box of the last of the day’s activities. A younger couple sat near the door, each flipping through a Lonely Planet guide crammed full of yellow post-it notes. Neither of them spoke a word to the other, like strangers forced to share a table.

I won’t bore you with the conversation. I will tell you that there was no ‘sorry’. There was little regret. He asked about the ribbons, to which I responded that they went well with my dress. Lie number 1. He politely enquired as to how I had been. Inside I was screaming, outside I was calm and boring. Lie number 2.

It moved quickly though after that. We stumbled into the ladies toilet. My back was pressed into the towel dispenser as his hairy, cold cock sliced me open and slid into my every crevice. I shoved him into a vacant toilet stall and kept it closed with my shoulder blades. My dress was riding up over by chest and my panties were holding my thighs together lest they slide apart and split me open.

It did not last long. He grunted wildly and snorted air through his nose like a pig. Yes, I fucked him in the dirty bathroom, to the sound of the toilet flushing automatically every twenty seconds, as the girls who came to piss ignored us in the interesting mid distance.

There was no sorry and little regret. Lie number 3.

The lock of the stall was forming a small temporary scar on my lower back. He had walked out calmly, for the last time. I slashed at the ribbons deep and hard with my nails, trying to tear not just the material but the skin beneath. I smashed my temple against the cold marble of the wall, the smell of iron and piss made me retch. A pattern of thick warmth ran down my arms, onto my dress and cascaded down my legs. It seeped between my toes, the blood red polish camouflaging the rest of my feet.

My mouth was wet, my throat open to any words I wanted to say. The ribbons fluttered off my wrists and fell onto the floor. A few more tired drinkers came into the restroom and washed their hands while they stared through the mirror. I looked past them, checked my face, straightened my hair, adjusted the belt of my dress to let it flow back to my knees, put on a new coat of lipstick and walked out.

The final reel of film focuses on me. Did I mean for it to happen?

My legs and feet are totally dry and the scars on my wrist have vanished. There is a litany of things I cannot damage about myself; trust me I have tried. A need to slide into pain and bleed from fresh, dark scars overwhelms me on even the most normal of days.

The end of it?

Three pieces of celluloid flapping through the projector and round onto the reel. The film is over. The noise makes a rhythmic pattern, beating ends of film stock, a crop against my thighs, slashing at them over and over until I cum.

Did the film make sense? I doubt it. The lack of narrative or structure would have seen to that. Perhaps the best thing we can do is let the credits roll and repeat to fade. Repeat to fade, and then end. Bring the house lights up. Repeat to fade and then end. Repeat to fade and then end. Repeat to fade and then end.

Full Description

Using a variety of found objects as its base, Loss is a multimedia artefact with works in sound, video, writing and images. The notion of found is fundamental to the work, as something that is lost can eventually be found. Using a bricoleur’s sensibility and a DIY approach to construction and editing, Peter improvised sounds, images and video, remixed and repurposed them for this project. Both the videos and the sounds draw heavily on the abstract and concrete notions of found. Each soundtrack is a mix of new compositions mixed with found sounds from around the world, not recorded specifically for this project and found on stacks of old minidiscs, tapes, hard drives and videos.

The same methodology was applied to the video footage. The majority of the footage used in each video was not shot for the project. It was selected from hundreds of hours of footage shot as Peter travelled the world. Some of it was tourist footage; other pieces were simply something interesting or odd things that caught the eye at the time. The footage was shot on a range of digital cameras with a variety of qualities and compositions. Some of it is shaky, handheld and oddly composed.

The sounds were composed as the vehicle for the words. As the majority of characters are female, Peter experimented with a number of options including pitch shifting his own voice and use the increasingly sophisticated text to speech engines, but settled on human voices sourced through the fiverr website, a platform where people sell small size services for US$5. Intuitive and committed performances from AK, Lynx and Astrid provide a resonance to the emotional spirals each character has committed themselves to.

The gestation of the soundscape style of the sounds originated 7 years ago in the bedroom of Peter’s flat in Petersham, Australia, with bass guitar, an old casiotone keyboard and a borrowed delay unit as his only instruments. Once he started working with found sounds as part of his old radio show ‘fabrication de bruit’, linking and fracturing the op-shop and outsider music he was playing, he saw an application to the formative idea he had for linking a number of half sketched pieces of writing in his trusty Moleskine, and they became integral to the Loss project. Drum beats from clanking escalators, church bells ringing 360 degrees around a city, the click-clack of heels on a cobbled street, train announcements at Gare du Nord in Paris and Pachinko parlours in Ikebukuro. Now based in his flat in London, the sounds have grown more sonically complex, and drawn from a variety of digital and analogue instruments.

Work metadata

Want to see more?
Take full advantage of the ArtBase by Becoming a Member
Artist Statement

Loss is a discontinuous story, told from a number of perspectives, over an inconsistent timeline. Loss is the story of ‘her’ and ‘him’ and how they chose to exist and act in worlds close to, but not the same as each other. Loss is set in Tokyo, Paris, New York and Sydney, but doesn’t really concern itself with these cities.

There are a number of recurring motifs in Loss. Black ribbons, dirty scars, sour umeboshi and bright flames. They represent hiding places, consequences, sensations and redemptions, and not in that order, and perhaps not what they seem. Each piece has its own momentum and sense of motion, a contrast between the reflective narration of the characters and the need to move on, forget and get on with life.


This artwork has no comments. You should add one!
Leave a Comment